Two new papers from the lab on the molecular basis and evolution of decision making

How do animals balance between competing demands, and how do those mechanism evolve?  

If you spend much time watching animals in natural populations you’re bound to notice that animals are rarely doing just one thing at a time. How do they balance between competing demands? 

In a new paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Alison presents a framework for using neurogenomic tools to understand the mechanisms by which animals balance between competing demands, and how those mechanisms evolve.

And in this new paper in Biology Letters Tina Barbasch shows that male sticklebacks mount a distinct neurogenomic response to a trade-off between social challenge and opportunity, thereby identifying some of the genes specifically important for decision making, and paving the way into further understanding of the evolution of mechanisms for decision making.

See here for a nice profile of Tina’s study written by Kevin Neumann!