“We know that all organisms are capable of some form of learning, we just weren’t sure how those abilities first evolved. Now we can watch these major evolutionary events unfold before us in a virtual world,” says lead author Anselmo Pontes, a computer science researcher at Michigan State University.
“Understanding how learning behavior evolved helps us figure out how it works and provides insights to other fields such as neuroscience, education, psychology, animal behavior, and even AI. It also supplies clues to how our brains work and could even lead to robots that learn from experiences as effectively as humans do.”
According to coauthor Fred Dyer, a professor of integrative biology, these findings have the potential for huge implications.