Costs of learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Understanding the costs of learning may allow us to understand variation in learning abilities across species. The costs of learning stem from the costs of obtaining information, whether acquisition, processing or storage. The costs of acquiring information are present at the behavioral level in terms of the time, energy, and risk associated with sampling a range of behavioral traits and environments. The costs of information processing and storage come at the tissue level, in terms of the energy required to develop, maintain, and use neural tissue. The costs of learning may result in life history trade-offs or they may select for changes in development that reduce such information costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132517
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Brain size
  • Delayed reproduction
  • Exploration
  • Information
  • Innate bias
  • Learning
  • Life history
  • Parental investment
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Philopatry
  • Sampling
  • Tradeoffs


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