Navigation Links
Understanding behavioral patterns: Why bird flocks move in unison
Date:9/14/2010

Animal flocks, be it honeybees, fish, ants or birds, often move in surprising synchronicity and seemingly make unanimous decisions at a moment's notice, a phenomenon which has remained puzzling to many researchers.

New research published today, Wednesday 15 September, in New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society), uses a particle model to explain the collective decision making process of flocks of birds landing on foraging flights.

Using a simple self-propelled particle (SPP) system, which sees the birds represented by particles with such parameters as position and velocity, the researchers from Budapest, Hungary, find that the collective switching from the flying to the landing state overrides the individual landing intentions of each bird.

In the absence of a decision making leader, the collective shift to land is heavily influenced by perturbations the individual birds are subject to, such as the birds' flying position within the flock. This can be compared to an avalanche of piled up sand, which would occur even for perfectly symmetric and cautiously placed grains, but in reality happens much sooner because of increasing, non-linear fluctuations.

As the researchers explain, "Our main motivation was to better understand something which is puzzling and out there in nature, especially in cases involving the stopping or starting of a collective behavioural pattern in a group of people or animals.

"We propose a simple model for a system whose members have the tendency to follow the others both in space and in their state of mind concerning a decision about stopping an activity. This is a very general model, which can be applied to similar situations."

Possible applications include collectively flying, unmanned aerial vehicles, initiating a desired motion pattern in crowds or groups of animals and even finance, where the results could be used to interpret collective effects on selling or buying shares on the stock market.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lena Weber
lena.weber@iop.org
44-020-747-04896
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. OU study on genetics in fruit flies leads to new method for understanding brain function
2. Sensor important to understanding root, seedling development
3. Understanding cancer using the fruit fly
4. Researchers advance understanding of enzyme that regulates DNA
5. Important clue to understanding the pathogenesis of ciliary disorders
6. Breakthrough in understanding cell development
7. Research is getting closer to understanding critical nucleus in haze formation, prof says
8. Understanding robustness in organisms -- a potential weapon against infectious diseases
9. Stretching molecules yields new understanding of electricity
10. NIST scientists gain new core understanding of nanoparticles
11. Pollution dispersion research aids understanding of 2002 break-up of Antarctic ozone hole
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer – ... Are you interested in the future of cancer ... inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions to 2026 ... level. Avoid falling behind in data or ... revenues those emerging cancer therapies can achieve. There ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016   Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) ... Army Research Office and the Defense Forensics and ... of the company,s Snapshot Kinship Inference ... more generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although Snapshot is ... appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence), it also ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016 Rising sales of consumer ... touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ... size through 2020   --> ... technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) a ... Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, will be featured ... at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, ... New York Palace Hotel in New York, ... and can be accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations web ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... ... SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, ... same venue. , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group, ... Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) and its affiliate Global Medical Training Network ... adipose and bone marrow therapies. , Through the new collaboration, Global Stem ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 9, 2016  Regenicin, ... biotechnology company specializing in the development and commercialization ... of damaged tissues and organs, recently reported the ... the first quarter of 2016. Lonza ... the new 2015 fiscal year in the process ...
Breaking Biology Technology: