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Game Theory in Biology – concepts and frontiers - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Game Theory in Biology: concepts and frontiers

John M. McNamara and Olof Leimar


Game theory in biology seeks to predict social behaviour and other traits that influence how individuals interact. It does this by tentatively assuming that current traits are stable endpoints of evolution by natural selection. The theory is used to model aggressive behaviour, cooperation, negotiation, and signalling, as well as phenotypic attributes like an individual’s sex and mating type. This book covers the basic concepts and the traditional examples of biological game theory. It expands the frontiers of the field, emphasizing the importance of the co-evolution of traits and the implicati ... More

Keywords: social behaviour, aggression, cooperation, signalling, sex allocation, natural selection, learning, reputation, models, game theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198815778
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198815778.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John M. McNamara, author
School of Mathematics, University of Bristol, UK

Olof Leimar, author
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Sweden