Posts Tagged ‘sciencemagazinefirsthalf2013’

Emergent Sensing of Complex Environments by Mobile Animal Groups

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

#Emergent Sensing of Complex Environments by Mobile Animal Groups: Fish swarm into dark patches from speed adjustment

An interesting discussion of how fish swarms reflect collective behavior. The basic idea is that fish like to swim in dark patches of water as opposed to light patches and one question is how a swarm finds this quickly. It turns out that it is not related to individual fish swimming away from light and dark but rather that the fish in light water swimming more quickly than those in dark water and the fish also trying to stay together as a swarm. The latter acts essentially as almost an axle between two wheels that are moving at different speeds forcing the fish to naturally turn into dark areas. A very intuitive discussion of this topic and a nice comparison to how this type of collective behavior is what one sees in the nervous system as well – One would not want to be making mental decisions on the basis of an individual neuron.