Rawal A, Boughman JW & Miikkulainen R (2014) Evolution of communication in cooperative mating. The Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems.

A computational study is conducted to evaluate the hypothesis that mate selection is the evolutionary origin of communication. A population of neural networks is evolved for two cooperative tasks - mate selection and prey capture. Simple codes developed for mate selection serve as an effective stepping stone for prey capture but not vice versa. Mate selection followed by an additional prey capture task is also easier to evolve than both together from the beginning. This result suggests that mate selection may be a first step in the evolution of general communication systems in nature.