A repertoire network consists of a set of connected repertoire
equations. Entering a value for a volume (red) or cell number
(blue) and pressing <Enter> generates a new hippocampus. With
r²s so close to one, the predictions tend to be
quite close to the original values.
Notice how the five different animal species
of the controls can routinely share the same repertoire equations in
the ca1 connections. This may be telling us
that genomes change very little over time, that the connections
between parts become optimal, or something else.
However, this is not always the case.
When we look at the repertoire equations for the dentate gyrus by
clicking through the animals with the local buttons, a different
picture appears. Now the equations suggest that each animal
species has a distinct pattern with little overlap. Does this
mean that connections can be unique and fundamental to speciation?
If the answer is yes, then this might help to explain how animals
sharing remarkably similar genomes can produce such widely different
species. Think a moment. This is exactly what nature
does routinely. It uses the same set of building blocks
(atoms, molecules, parts) to build new compounds (larger molecules,
larger parts, species) that offer new emergent properties. In
turn, emergent properties may - or may not - offer new opportunities
for success. In effect, nature may be experimenting with genes
in the same way it experiments with elements of the periodic table.
Creativity, it knows, is in the connections.