An earlier study concluded that receivers should and do pay attention to only the single most reliable distinguishing trait when making discriminative decisions. Hence, other explanations are needed to explain the prevalence of complex signals. Here we show that the model the authors invoked is a signal detection model and that it predicts that receivers should pay attention to multiple signal components under a range of conditions. Hence additional explanations for multi-component signals are unnecessary.

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Journal Behavioral Ecology
Sherratt, T, & Holen, Ø.H. (Øistein H.). (2018). When should receivers follow multiple signal components? A closer look at the "flag" model. Behavioral Ecology (Vol. 29, pp. e6–e8). doi:10.1093/beheco/ary043