Title: Resolving individual-level behaviors underlying distinct group search strategies in fish.
Speaker: Daniel Grunbaum
Speaker Info: University of Washington
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The difficulty of designing effective control algorithms for coordinated group activities by autonomous agents has motivated interest in possible analogies with fish schools and other natural social groups. These are of interest because they appear to operate under analogous constraints on locomotion and information exchange but nonetheless perform certain functions well, such as coordinated movement, foraging, and predator avoidance. However, few tools are available to deduce underlying behavioral algorithms from observations of natural social groups. We have been investigating how emergent characteristics of fish schools vary in response to environmental conditions and physiological states of members. After introducing some biological perspectives on grouping, I will present evidence that, in at least some fish schools, individuals are capable of multiple modes of interacting with neighbors that result in distinct group characteristics. Furthermore, individuals within a group appear to have a consensus behavioral mode expressed at a given time, suggesting that direct or indirect cues of modes adopted by neighbors are intrinsic to schooling dynamics. Interactions with neighbors occur on at least two levels: collective choice of group characteristics, and movement responses to neighbors to implement that choice.Date: Friday, March 04, 2005