HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Flocking together: Study shows how animal groups find their way

A study led by Princeton biologists has revealed a remarkably simple mechanism that allows flocking birds, schooling fish or running herds to travel in unison without any recognized leaders or signaling system.

The finding, published in the Feb. 3 issue of Nature, helps settle age-old questions about how animals coordinate their actions. Previously, scientists had looked for subtle signals or other explicit systems that animals may use in disseminating information through groups. The new study showed that such complexity is not necessary: Large groups easily make accurate decisions about where to go even when no individuals are regarded as leaders and very few individuals have any pertinent information.

In addition to shedding light on the graceful coordination of animal groups, the results may be useful in understanding how humans behave in crowds and in designing robots that explore remote locations such as the ocean or other planets.

"When you see apparently complex behaviors, the mechanisms that coordinate these behaviors may be surprisingly simple and generic," said Iain Couzin, a postdoctoral researcher in Princeton's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and lead author of the study.

Using computer simulations, the researchers found that group coordination arises naturally from two basic instincts: the need to stay in a group; and the desire by some individuals to act on their own information about where to go. First, the researchers programmed their simulated animals with a basic urge to stay near others, but not collide with them. This instinct alone caused individuals to form close-knit, evenly spaced groups like those of real animals, which pay a high price -- such as being eaten -- if they stray from their group.

Second, a few animals were programmed to have a preferred direction, as if aware of a food source or other valued destination. These animals were instructed to balance their desire to move toward
'"/>

Contact: Steven Schultz
sschultz@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University
3-Feb-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Banding together: RAS signaling of circadian output
2. Better together: Bacterial endosymbionts are essential for the reproduction of a fungus
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Study finds gender differences in renal and other genes contributing to blood pressure
5. Study suggests estrogen deficiency can lead to obesity-induced high blood pressure after menopause
6. Study: Sticking to the sand might not be such good, clean fun for beachgoers
7. Study points to new way to predict death risk from torn aorta
8. Study identifies new gene therapy tools for inherited blindness
9. Study finds contaminated water reaching Floridas offshore keys
10. Study sheds light on why humans walk on two legs
11. Study explains how pathogens evolve to escape detection

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all the information ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. Download the ... Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth ... world,s leading life sciences companies. On demand ... of the most up to date deal and company ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , March 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), ... that Richard P. Moberg has resigned, effective ... and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aware citing ... serve as a member of the Board of Directors ... Aware,s co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, General Counsel has ...
(Date:2/28/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, ein marktführendes Unternehmen im Bereich ... Lösung zur Iris-Erkennung auf der neuesten Mobilplattform ... dem Mobile World Congress 2017 (27. Februar ... 3, Stand 3E10, vorstellen. Der ... – eine Kombination aus Hardware, Software und ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... METTLER ... modules. These weigh modules are designed according to European Hygienic Engineering & ... As fully integrated weighing solutions, SWB805 MultiMount weigh modules reduce contamination risk ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... IsoPlexis Corporation (IsoPlexis), a ... disease and more through a single-cell precision engineering platform, today announced it has ... in the laboratory of Dr. James Heath at the California Institute of ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Perthera,s Chief Bioinformatics Officer and research ... Madhavan , Ph.D., will be speaking at the American ... Monday, March 27, 2017, she will be speaking on ... for Research and Care" (from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 ... will be a participant in the "Making Precision Oncology ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), ... and big data solutions, today announced that it is ... option for U.S. consumers who want to have their ... has signed strategic alliance agreements with partners across the ... benefits, and if approved, will supply and bill the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: