What’s less clear, though, is why females should value unusualness in a mate.
When puzzling over why this mating preference arose, it occurred to me that attraction to novelty fits with a simple kind of learning called habituation. Psychologists have long known that when an animal is repeatedly exposed to some stimulus – be it a sound, a touch or in this case a visual pattern – it responds to the stimulus less and less. This occurs because the nervous system starts to “tune out” repetitive information. Since repetitive information is usually unimportant, habituation helps to free up the animals attention for other more important things.