Hywel T. P. Williams

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Continuous-time recurrent neural networks (CTRNNs) are potentially an excellent substrate for the generation of adaptive behaviour in artificial autonomous agents. However, node saturation effects in these networks can leave them insensitive to input and stop signals from propagating. Node saturation is related to the problems of hyper-excitation and(More)
The time course of cocaine-induced changes in self-stimulation thresholds were used to evaluate cocaine euphoria and dysphoria as a function of the chronicity of drug treatment, dosage level, and the spacing of injections. It was assumed that cocaine-induced decreases in thresholds were indicative of cocaine euphoria, while increases in thresholds reflected(More)
Recent work with microbial communities has demonstrated an adaptive response to artificial selection at the level of the ecosystem. The reasons for this response and the level at which adaptation occurs are unclear: does selection act implicitly on traits of individual species, or are higher-level traits genuinely being selected? If the ecosystem response(More)
The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore,(More)
Here we describe a new trait-based model for cellular resource allocation that we use to investigate the relative importance of different drivers for small cell size in phytoplankton. Using the model, we show that increased investment in nonscalable structural components with decreasing cell size leads to a trade-off between cell size, nutrient and light(More)
Artificial selection of microbial ecosystems for their collective function has been shown to be effective in laboratory experiments. In previous work, we used evolutionary simulation models to understand the mechanistic basis of the observed ecosystem-level response to artificial selection. Here we extend this work to consider artificial ecosystem selection(More)
Nestedness is a statistical measure used to interpret bipartite interaction data in several ecological and evolutionary contexts, e.g. biogeography (species-site relationships) and species interactions (plant-pollinator and host-parasite networks). Multiple methods have been used to evaluate nestedness, which differ in how the metrics for nestedness are(More)
Evidence suggests that host-parasite coevolution can often result in host diversification. However, the host traits that coe-volve often have primary functions affecting growth, creating the potential for conflicting selection pressures. For example , bacteriophage often infect bacteria by binding to nutrient uptake receptors, thus diversification of(More)
Self-stimulation thresholds obtained from rate/intensity functions have often been used to measure brain stimulation reward (BSR) under the assumption that these indices are not contaminated by performance factors. However, very few studies have explicitly examined the effect of performance variables on thresholds. The present experiment examined the joint(More)