Symposium

Of Rising ScholarsFall 2022

Sophia will be presenting at The Symposium of Rising Scholars on Saturday, September 24th! To attend the event and see Sophia's presentation,

Register here!
Go to Polygence Scholars page
Sophia Wang's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2022
Sophia Wang's profile

Sophia Wang

The Brearley SchoolClass of 2024New York, NY

About

Projects

  • "Using adaptive cognition in an evolutionary agent-based model to model how the behavior of birds giving warning signals evolved." with mentor Leif (Working project)

Project Portfolio

Using adaptive cognition in an evolutionary agent-based model to model how the behavior of birds giving warning signals evolved.

Started Apr. 19, 2022

Abstract or project description

Sophia will create a NetLogo model of an evolutionary ecology and embed adaptive cognition into the agents. She will explore questions regarding the emergence of both cooperative and adversarial forms of signaling. This will likely be done in the context of birds giving warning signals about approaching predators to other birds nearby.

When many species of birds sense approaching predators, they will give out warning calls to other birds nearby, allowing them to escape. However, birds will also occasionally give out false warning signals upon finding food, to deter nearby birds from the area and prevent them from having to share the food. To determine how this behavior evolved and how birds balance between cooperative and adversarial forms of signaling, we will create a model with NetLogo. In this project, we will use an agent-based model. By defining rules for each individual agent and allowing different types of agents such as birds, food, and predators to interact with one another in set ways, we can observe larger patterns that begin to emerge within the model. We will also embed adaptive cognition into the agents. Within each agent, we will simulate a simplified version of a neural network that can be passed down generations and undergo mutations. By doing this, we enable the birds to learn and evolve, with successful birds able to pass their genetics to their offspring. By understanding how these warning signals in birds evolved, we can not only increase our knowledge on evolutionary behavior, but also on the merits of cooperative vs. adversarial systems.