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Body-specificity Hypothesis | TK Talk

AB - Although most parasites show at least some degree of host specificity, factors governing the evolution of specificity remain poorly understood. Many different groups of host-specific parasites show a striking correlation between parasite and host body size, suggesting that size reinforces specificity. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative fitness of host-specific feather lice transferred to pigeons and doves that differ in size by an order of magnitude. To test the general influence of size, we transferred unrelated groups of wing and body lice, which are specialized for different regions of the host. Lice were transferred in both directions, from a large native host species, the rock pigeon (Columba livia), to several progressively smaller hosts, and from a small native host species, the common ground dove (Columbina passerina), to several larger hosts. We measured the relative fitness (population size) of lice transferred to these novel host species after two louse generations. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on novel host species that were smaller in size than the native host. However, when host defense (preening behavior) was blocked, both groups survived and reproduced on all novel hosts tested. Thus, host defense interacted with host size to govern the ability of lice to establish on small hosts. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on larger hosts, even when preening was blocked. In summary, host size influenced the fitness of both types of feather lice, but through different mechanisms, depending on the direction of the transfer. Our results indicate that host switching is most likely between hosts of similar body size. This finding has important implications for studies of host-parasite coevolution at both the micro- and macroevolutionary scales.

Evolutionary psychology is one of many biologically informedapproaches to the study of human behavior. Along with cognitivepsychologists, evolutionary psychologists propose that much, if notall, of our behavior can be explained by appeal to internalpsychological mechanisms. What distinguishes evolutionarypsychologists from many cognitive psychologists is the proposal thatthe relevant internal mechanisms are adaptations—products ofnatural selection—that helped our ancestors get around theworld, survive and reproduce. To understand the central claims ofevolutionary psychology we require an understanding of some keyconcepts in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, philosophy ofscience and philosophy of mind. Philosophers are interested inevolutionary psychology for a number of reasons. For philosophers ofscience —mostly philosophers of biology—evolutionarypsychology provides a critical target. There is a broad consensusamong philosophers of science that evolutionary psychology is a deeplyflawed enterprise. For philosophers of mind and cognitive scienceevolutionary psychology has been a source of empirical hypothesesabout cognitive architecture and specific components of thatarchitecture. Philosophers of mind are also critical of evolutionarypsychology but their criticisms are not as all-encompassing as thosepresented by philosophers of biology. Evolutionary psychology is alsoinvoked by philosophers interested in moral psychology both as asource of empirical hypotheses and as a critical target.

body-specificity hypothesis | PsychologyMaché

"Right or Left Handed: The Body-Specificity Hypothesis"

The two different genera of sloths are named according to the numberof claws they possess: the three-toed sloth () has threeclaws on each limb; the two-toed sloth () has two claws onthe forelimb and three on the hind limb. (There are many differencesin detail between these two groups of sloths. Most of the specificinformation referred to in this essay pertains to the three-toed sloth,unless otherwise indicated.)

Although most parasites show at least some degree of host specificity, factors governing the evolution of specificity remain poorly understood. Many different groups of host-specific parasites show a striking correlation between parasite and host body size, suggesting that size reinforces specificity. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative fitness of host-specific feather lice transferred to pigeons and doves that differ in size by an order of magnitude. To test the general influence of size, we transferred unrelated groups of wing and body lice, which are specialized for different regions of the host. Lice were transferred in both directions, from a large native host species, the rock pigeon (Columba livia), to several progressively smaller hosts, and from a small native host species, the common ground dove (Columbina passerina), to several larger hosts. We measured the relative fitness (population size) of lice transferred to these novel host species after two louse generations. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on novel host species that were smaller in size than the native host. However, when host defense (preening behavior) was blocked, both groups survived and reproduced on all novel hosts tested. Thus, host defense interacted with host size to govern the ability of lice to establish on small hosts. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on larger hosts, even when preening was blocked. In summary, host size influenced the fitness of both types of feather lice, but through different mechanisms, depending on the direction of the transfer. Our results indicate that host switching is most likely between hosts of similar body size. This finding has important implications for studies of host-parasite coevolution at both the micro- and macroevolutionary scales.

Sensitivity and specificity - Wikipedia

N2 - Although most parasites show at least some degree of host specificity, factors governing the evolution of specificity remain poorly understood. Many different groups of host-specific parasites show a striking correlation between parasite and host body size, suggesting that size reinforces specificity. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative fitness of host-specific feather lice transferred to pigeons and doves that differ in size by an order of magnitude. To test the general influence of size, we transferred unrelated groups of wing and body lice, which are specialized for different regions of the host. Lice were transferred in both directions, from a large native host species, the rock pigeon (Columba livia), to several progressively smaller hosts, and from a small native host species, the common ground dove (Columbina passerina), to several larger hosts. We measured the relative fitness (population size) of lice transferred to these novel host species after two louse generations. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on novel host species that were smaller in size than the native host. However, when host defense (preening behavior) was blocked, both groups survived and reproduced on all novel hosts tested. Thus, host defense interacted with host size to govern the ability of lice to establish on small hosts. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on larger hosts, even when preening was blocked. In summary, host size influenced the fitness of both types of feather lice, but through different mechanisms, depending on the direction of the transfer. Our results indicate that host switching is most likely between hosts of similar body size. This finding has important implications for studies of host-parasite coevolution at both the micro- and macroevolutionary scales.

In what follows I briefly explain evolutionary psychology's relationsto other work on the biology of human behavior and the cognitivesciences. Next I introduce the research tradition's key theoreticalconcepts. In the following section I take up discussions aboutevolutionary psychology in the philosophy of mind, specificallyfocusing on the debate about the massive modularity thesis. I go on toreview some of the criticisms of evolutionary psychology presented byphilosophers of biology and assess some responses to thosecriticisms. I then go on to introduce some of evolutionarypsychology's contributions to moral psychology and, finally, brieflydiscuss the reach and impact of evolutionary psychology.

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Sensitivity and specificity - RationalWiki


Sensitivity and specificity is an obscure novel by ..

There are numerous examples of the kinds of mechanisms thatare hypothesized to underlie our behavior on the basis of researchguided by these theoretical tenets: the cheat detection module; thewaist/hip ratio detection module; the snake fear module and soon. A closer look at the waist/hip ratio detection moduleillustrates the above theoretical tenets at work. Devendra Singh (Singh1993; Singh and Luis 1995) presents the waist/hip ratio detectionmodule as one of the suite of modules that underlies mate selection inhumans. This one is a specifically male psychologicalmechanism. Men detect variations in waist/hip ratio inwomen. Men's preferences are for women with waist/hipratios closer to .7. Singh claims that the detection andpreference suite are adaptations for choosing fertile mates. Soour mate selection behavior is explained in part by the underlyingpsychological mechanism for waist/hip ratio preference that wasselected for in earlier human environments.

What is the role of bodily experience in structuring the mind

The methods for testing hypotheses in evolutionarypsychology come mostly from psychology. For example, inSingh's work, male subjects are presented with drawings of womenwith varying waist hip ratios and ask to give their preferencerankings. In Buss's work supporting several hypothesizedmate selection mechanisms, he performed similar experiments onsubjects, asking for their responses to various questions aboutfeatures of desired mates (Buss 1990). Buss, Singh and otherevolutionary psychologists emphasize the cross cultural validity oftheir results, claiming consistency in responses across a wide varietyof human populations. (But see Yu and Shepard 1998; Gray et al. 2003 fordifferent types of conflicting results to Singh's.) For the mostpart standard psychological experimental methods are used to testhypotheses in evolutionary psychology. This has raised questionsabout the extent to which the evolutionary component of evolutionarypsychologists' hypotheses is being tested (see e.g. Shapiro andEpstein 1998; Lloyd 1999; Lloyd and Feldman 2002). A responseprofile may be prevalent in a wide variety of subject populations butthis says nothing about whether or not the response profile is apsychological mechanism that arose from a particular selectiveregimen.

Specificity of learning hypothesis ..

This is why, for example, we can be more confident of research results that are consistent with a causal-directional hypothesis, than is the case of findings that are consistent with a non-directional hypothesis.

Body part specificity - Oxford Scholarship

The second type of argument makes no appeal to biologicalconsiderations whatsoever (although many evolutionary psychologistsgive these arguments a biological twist). Call this the computationalargument, which unfolds as follows: minds are computational problem solvingdevices; there are specific types of solutions to specific types ofproblems; and so for minds to be (successful) general problem solvingdevices, they must consist of collections of specific problemsolving devices, i.e. many computational modules. This type ofargument is structurally similar to the biological argument (asCarruthers points out). The key idea is that there is no sense tothe idea of a general problem solver and that no headway can be made incognitive science without breaking down problems into their componentparts.

Body part coding enables decomposition of ..

The second type of argument is one side of a perennial debate in thephilosophy of cognitive science. Fodor (2000, 68) takes thisargument to rest on the unwarranted assumption that there is nodomain-independent criterion of cognitive success, which he thinksrequires an argument that evolutionary psychologists do notprovide. Samuels (see esp. Samuels 1998) responds to evolutionarypsychologists that arguments of this type do not sufficientlydiscriminate between a conclusion about domain specific processingmechanisms and domain specific knowledge or information. Samuelsarticulates what he calls the “library model of cognition”in which there is domain specific information or knowledge but domaingeneral processing. The library model of cognition is notmassively modular in the relevant sense but type two arguments supportit. According to Samuels, evolutionary psychologists needsomething more than this type of argument to warrant their specifickind of conclusion about massive modularity. Buller (2005)introduces further worries for this type of argument by tackling theassumption that there can be no such thing as a domain general problemsolving mechanism. Buller worries that in their attempt tosupport this claim, evolutionary psychologists fail to adequatelycharacterize a domain general problem solver. For example, theyfail to distinguish between a domain general problem solver and adomain specific problem solver that is over generalized. Heoffers the example of social learning as a domain general mechanismthat would produce domain specific solutions to problems. He usesa nice biological analogy to drive this point home: the immune systemis a domain general system in that it allows the body to respond to awide variety of pathogens. While it is true that the immunesystem produces domain specific responses to pathogens in the form ofspecific antibodies, the antibodies are produced by one domain generalsystem. These and many other respondents conclude that type twoarguments do not adequately support the massive modularity thesis.

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