The edge of neutral evolution in social dilemmas

Abstract: The functioning of animal as well as human societies fundamentally relies on cooperation. Yet, defection is often favorable for the selfish individual, and social dilemmas arise. Selection by individuals’ fitness, usually the basic driving force of evolution, quickly eliminates cooperators. However, evolution is also governed by fluctuations that can be of greater importance than fitness differences, and can render evolution effectively neutral. Here, we investigate the effects of selection versus fluctuations in social dilemmas.

DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/11/9/093029