We use the powerful techniques of experimental evolution to directly test hypotheses about how patterns of change and reliability in the environment and of stimuli will influence the evolution of plasticity, in the form of learning, and in fixed behaviors, in the form of innate bias or preference. Reliability of types of stimuli can also predict when prepared learning will evolve.

Experimental evolution is just a start, and we maintain some subsets of populations which we use to test hypotheses about costs of learning, trade-offs of life history and of economics, generalization of learning and preference, mechanisms of memory, and differences in gene expression and genome.