Intraspecific competition and coordination in the evolution of lateralization

Ghirlanda, S., Frasnelli, Elisa and Vallortigara, G. (2009) Intraspecific competition and coordination in the evolution of lateralization. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364 (1519). pp. 861-866. ISSN 0962-8436

Full content URL:

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Recent studies have revealed a variety of left–right asymmetries among vertebrates and invertebrates.In many species, left- and right-lateralized individuals coexist, but in unequal numbers (‘population-level’ lateralization). It has been argued that brain lateralization increases individual efficiency (e.g.avoiding unnecessary duplication of neural circuitry and reducing interference between functions),thus counteracting the ecological disadvantages of lateral biases in behaviour (making individualbehaviour more predictable to other organisms). However, individual efficiency does not require adefinite proportion of left- and right-lateralized individuals. Thus, such arguments do not explainpopulation-level lateralization. We have previously shown that, in the context of prey–predatorinteractions, population-level lateralization can arise as an evolutionarily stable strategy whenindividually asymmetrical organisms must coordinate their behaviour with that of other asymmetricalorganisms. Here, we extend our model showing that populations consisting of left- and right-lateralizedindividuals in unequal numbers can be evolutionarily stable, based solely on strategic factors arisingfrom the balance between antagonistic (competitive) and synergistic (cooperative) interactions.

Additional Information:The final published version of this article can be accessed online at
Keywords:asymmetry, brain evolution, brain lateralization, evolutionarily stable strategy, laterality, lateralization of behaviour
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:30120
Deposited On:01 Aug 2018 10:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page