Studies of the evolution of animal signals and sensory behaviour have more recently shifted from considering 'extrinsic' (environmental) determinants to 'intrinsic' (physiological) ones. The drive behind this change has been the increasing availability of neural network models. With contributions from experts in the field, this book provides a complete survey of artificial neural networks. The book opens with two broad, introductory level reviews on the themes of the book: neural networks as tools to explore the nature of perceptual mechanisms, and neural networks as models of perception in ecology and evolutionary biology. Later chapters expand on these themes and address important methodological issues when applying artificial neural networks to study perception. The final chapter provides perspective by introducing a neural processing system in a real animal. The book provides the foundations for implementing artificial neural networks, for those new to the field, along with identifying potential research areas for specialists.
Colin Tosh is a postdoctoral researcher currently based in the Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, University of Leeds. He began his career as an experimental behavioural biologist, specialising in the host utilisation behaviour of insects. More recently he has extended his interests to theoretical biology and is currently interested in applying neural network models to study the impact of information degradation and bias between trophic levels (such as predator-prey and herbivore-plant). He is author of numerous papers in international journals of ecology and evolution and recently published a major review on insect behaviour. Graeme Ruxton is Professor of Theoretical Ecology at the University of Glasgow. He began life as a physicist, but ended up in behavioural ecology after a detour into statistics. His interests focus on the use of mathematical models as tools for understanding animal behaviour, with particular interest in cognitive aspects of predator-prey interactions. He has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, one textbook and two monographs. Ruxton and Tosh have several years of experience of fruitful collaboration, centred on the use of neural networks as representations of the sensory and decision-making processes of predators.