Collective Motion and Decision-Making in Animal Groups

Posted by on Sep 24 2009 in UncategorizedNo comment

By accessing social cues individuals, who may themselves be limited in sensory range and cognitive capacity, can access higher-order computational capabilities. We have previously shown, in a paper in Nature, how directional information can be effectively disseminated within groups, facilitating both ad-hoc leadership and consensus decision-making even in the absence of signaling or individual recognition. In that work we also demonstrated that the larger the group, the smaller the proportion of informed individuals needed to efficiently transfer this information. In two of our most recent studies on this topic, published in Science and PNAS we investigate the role of uninformed individuals, or those who exhibit little (or no) preference, on consensus decision making. We reveal that such individuals can have a profound influence on the consensus reached, promoting democratic consensus, and also that uninformed individuals facilitate consensus decision making.

We employ an integrated experimental and theoretical approach to study collective decision-making in animal groups. We have recently focused on schooling fish (our Golden shiners are shown above) as a good model system with which to develop and test ideas regarding how, and why, groups of unrelated individuals coordinate so strongly their behavior and decision-making. Golden shiners are a very strongly schooling species of freshwater fish allowing us to determine how individual decisions and preferences relate to those at the level of the collective. Some of our relevant publications on this topic are listed below:

Ioannou, C.C., Guttal, V. & Couzin, I.D. (2012) Predatory fish select for coordinated collective motion in virtual preyScience, published online 16th August

Leonard, N.E., Shen, T., Nabet, B., Scardovi, L., Couzin, I.D & Levin, S.A. (2012) Decision versus compromise for animal groups in motionPNAS109(1), 227-232.

Handegard, N.O., Leblanc, S., Boswell, K., Tjostheim, D. & Couzin, I.D. (2012) The dynamics of coordinated group hunting and collective information-transfer among schooling prey. Current Biology22(13), 1213-1217.

Couzin, I.D., Ioannou, C.C., Demirel, G., Gross, T., Torney, C.J., Hartnett, A., Conradt, L., Levin, S.A. & Leonard, N.E. (2011) Uninformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups. Science 332(6062), 1578-1580.

Katz, Y., Ioannou, C.C., Tunstrom, K., Huepe, C. & Couzin, I.D. (2011) Inferring the structure and dynamics of interactions in schooling fishPNAS 108(46), 18720-18725 Open Access

Torney, C., Berdahl, A. and Couzin, I.D. (2011) Signaling and the evolution of cooperative foraging in dynamic environmentsPLoS Computational Biology 7(9), e1002194.

Guttal, V., & Couzin, I. D. (2011) Leadership, collective motion and the evolution of migratory strategiesCommunicative and Integrative Biology, 4, 294-298. Open Access.

Pillot, M-H., Gautrais, J., Arrufat, P., Couzin, I. D., Bon, R. & Deneubourg, J-L. (2011)Scalable rules for coherent motion in a gregarious vertebratePLoS ONE 6(1), 14487.

Guttal, V. & Couzin, I. D. (2010) Social interactions, information use and the evolution of collective migration. PNAS 107(37), 16172-16177.

Faria, J. J., Dyer, J. R. G., Clement, R., Couzin, I. D., Holt, N., & Ward, A. J., et al. (2010) A novel method for investigating the collective behavior of fish: introducing “Robofish”Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 64(8), 1211-1218.

Couzin, I.D. and King, A.J. (2010) Animal group movements. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Breed, M. and Moore, J. (Eds.), Elsevier.

Torney, C., Neufeld, Z. & Couzin, I.D. (2009) Context-dependent interaction leads to emergent search behavior in social aggregatesPNAS 106(52), 22055-22060.

Conradt, L., Roper, T.J., Couzin, I.D. & Krause, J. (2009) “Leading according to need” in self-organizing groups. The American Naturalist 173(3), 304-312.

Nabet, B., Leonard, N.E., Couzin, I.D. & Levin, S.A. (2009) Dynamics of decision-making in animal group motionJournal of Nonlinear Science 19(4), 399-435.

Couzin, I.D. (2009) Collective cognition in animal groupsTrends in Cognitive Sciences 13(1), 36-43.

Sumpter, D.J.T., Krause, J., James, R., Couzin, I.D. & Ward, A.J.W. (2008) Consensus decision-making by fishCurrent Biology 18(22), 1773-1777.

Ward, A.J., Sumpter, D.J.T., Couzin, I.D., Hart, P.J.B. & Krause, J. (2008) Quorum decision-making facilitates information transfer in fish shoalsPNAS 105(19), 6948-6953.

Couzin, I.D. (2007) Collective mindsNature 455, 715.

Couzin, I.D., Krause, J., Franks, N.R. & Levin, S.A. (2005) Effective leadership and decision making in animal groups on the moveNature 433, 513-516.

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