a variational approach to niche construction

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Abstract
In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference. We argue that niche construction can be described using a variational approach. We propose new arguments to support the niche construction perspective, and to extend the variational approach to niche construction to current perspectives in various scientific fields.
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Archival date: 2018-04-11
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References found in this work BETA
Free-Energy and the Brain.Friston, Karl J. & E. Stephan, Klaas

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Citations of this work BETA
A Multi-Scale View of the Emergent Complexity of Life: A Free-Energy Proposal.Hesp, Casper; Ramstead, Maxwell; Constant, Axel; Badcock, Paul; Kirchhoff, Michael David & Friston, Karl
Precise Worlds for Certain Minds: An Ecological Perspective on the Relational Self in Autism.Constant, Axel; Bervoets, Jo; Hens, Kristien & Van de Cruys, Sander
Multiscale Integration: Beyond Internalism and Externalism.Ramstead, Maxwell J. D.; Kirchhoff, Michael D.; Constant, Axel & Friston, Karl J.
Cultural Attachment: From Behavior to Computational Neuroscience.Yap, Wei-Jie; Cheon, Bobby; Hong, Ying-yi & Christopoulos, George I.

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