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The evolution of patterning during movement in a large-scale citizen science game.

Hughes, Anna E and Griffiths, David and Troscianko, Jolyon and Kelley, Laura A (2021) 'The evolution of patterning during movement in a large-scale citizen science game.' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288 (1942). ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

The motion dazzle hypothesis posits that high contrast geometric patterns can cause difficulties in tracking a moving target and has been argued to explain the patterning of animals such as zebras. Research to date has only tested a small number of patterns, offering equivocal support for the hypothesis. Here, we take a genetic programming approach to allow patterns to evolve based on their fitness (time taken to capture) and thus find the optimal strategy for providing protection when moving. Our 'Dazzle Bug' citizen science game tested over 1.5 million targets in a touch screen game at a popular visitor attraction. Surprisingly, we found that targets lost pattern elements during evolution and became closely background matching. Modelling results suggested that targets with lower motion energy were harder to catch. Our results indicate that low contrast, featureless targets offer the greatest protection against capture when in motion, challenging the motion dazzle hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: motion dazzle, evolution, motion perception, citizen science, genetic algorithms
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 13:54
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2021 13:54
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29532

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