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:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters ... two-day competition will focus on developing health and wellness ... Hack the Genome is the first ... tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/21/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... annual meeting and educational conference of the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and ... Galleria Hotel in Houston. The conference reinforces AAB’s commitment to excellence in clinical ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... QED Proof-of-Concept Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who ... Jersey and Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II (“GPP”) portfolio company, ... has doubled in size over the past six months with the acquisition of businesses ... joins CSM as Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 years of experience ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... specializing in medical device compliance and commercialization, has just released version 9.0 of ... work into this latest version of Cockpit,” says David Cronin, CEO of Cognition. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: