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Group living enhances individual resources discrimination: the use of public information by cockroaches to assess shelter quality.

Canonge S, Deneubourg JL, Sempo G - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Such use of public information allows animals to discriminate between alternatives whereas isolated individuals are ineffective (i.e. the personal discrimination efficiency is weak).Our theoretical results, obtained from a mathematical model based on behavioral rules derived from experiments, highlight that the collective discrimination emerges from competing amplification processes relying on the modulation of the individual sheltering time without shelters comparison and communication modulation.Without any behavioral change, the system is able to shift to a more effective strategy when alternatives are present: the modification of the spatio-temporal distributions of individuals leading to the collective selection of the best resource.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Unit of Social Ecology, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium. scanonge@ulb.ac.be

ABSTRACT
In group-living organisms, consensual decision of site selection results from the interplay between individual responses to site characteristics and to group-members. Individuals independently gather personal information by exploring their environment. Through social interaction, the presence of others provides public information that could be used by individuals and modulates the individual probability of joining/leaving a site. The way that individual's information processing and the network of interactions influence the dynamics of public information (depending on population size) that in turn affect discrimination in site quality is a central question. Using binary choice between sheltering sites of different quality, we demonstrate that cockroaches in group dramatically outperform the problem-solving ability of single individual. Such use of public information allows animals to discriminate between alternatives whereas isolated individuals are ineffective (i.e. the personal discrimination efficiency is weak). Our theoretical results, obtained from a mathematical model based on behavioral rules derived from experiments, highlight that the collective discrimination emerges from competing amplification processes relying on the modulation of the individual sheltering time without shelters comparison and communication modulation. Finally, we well demonstrated here the adaptive value of such decision algorithm. Without any behavioral change, the system is able to shift to a more effective strategy when alternatives are present: the modification of the spatio-temporal distributions of individuals leading to the collective selection of the best resource. This collective discrimination implying such parsimonious and widespread mechanism must be shared by many group living-species.

Show MeSH
Shelter selection frequency.(A) Fraction of replicates ending with good selection (i.e. selection of the darkest shelter) according to population size ( = discrimination efficiency); (B) Fraction of replicates ending with the selection of one of the two shelters according to population size ( = ability to make a choice) (see SI 2 for statistical criteria of selection).
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pone-0019748-g002: Shelter selection frequency.(A) Fraction of replicates ending with good selection (i.e. selection of the darkest shelter) according to population size ( = discrimination efficiency); (B) Fraction of replicates ending with the selection of one of the two shelters according to population size ( = ability to make a choice) (see SI 2 for statistical criteria of selection).

Mentions: This is confirmed by the increase of the darkest shelter selection frequency related to the population size (fig. 2A, see also Text S1). Few isolated cockroaches settled under the shelters with a weak preference for the darkest one. On the contrary, for populations of 10 and 16 cockroaches, 53% of replicates ended with the selection of the dark against only 27% and 20% respectively for the light shelter. For a population of 30 cockroaches, the selection of the dark shelter is more marked and reached 76% of replicates while the light shelter was never selected. These results demonstrated that being in a group enhances the capability to select the better shelter.


Group living enhances individual resources discrimination: the use of public information by cockroaches to assess shelter quality.

Canonge S, Deneubourg JL, Sempo G - PLoS ONE (2011)

Shelter selection frequency.(A) Fraction of replicates ending with good selection (i.e. selection of the darkest shelter) according to population size ( = discrimination efficiency); (B) Fraction of replicates ending with the selection of one of the two shelters according to population size ( = ability to make a choice) (see SI 2 for statistical criteria of selection).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3119082&req=5

pone-0019748-g002: Shelter selection frequency.(A) Fraction of replicates ending with good selection (i.e. selection of the darkest shelter) according to population size ( = discrimination efficiency); (B) Fraction of replicates ending with the selection of one of the two shelters according to population size ( = ability to make a choice) (see SI 2 for statistical criteria of selection).
Mentions: This is confirmed by the increase of the darkest shelter selection frequency related to the population size (fig. 2A, see also Text S1). Few isolated cockroaches settled under the shelters with a weak preference for the darkest one. On the contrary, for populations of 10 and 16 cockroaches, 53% of replicates ended with the selection of the dark against only 27% and 20% respectively for the light shelter. For a population of 30 cockroaches, the selection of the dark shelter is more marked and reached 76% of replicates while the light shelter was never selected. These results demonstrated that being in a group enhances the capability to select the better shelter.

Bottom Line: Such use of public information allows animals to discriminate between alternatives whereas isolated individuals are ineffective (i.e. the personal discrimination efficiency is weak).Our theoretical results, obtained from a mathematical model based on behavioral rules derived from experiments, highlight that the collective discrimination emerges from competing amplification processes relying on the modulation of the individual sheltering time without shelters comparison and communication modulation.Without any behavioral change, the system is able to shift to a more effective strategy when alternatives are present: the modification of the spatio-temporal distributions of individuals leading to the collective selection of the best resource.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Unit of Social Ecology, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium. scanonge@ulb.ac.be

ABSTRACT
In group-living organisms, consensual decision of site selection results from the interplay between individual responses to site characteristics and to group-members. Individuals independently gather personal information by exploring their environment. Through social interaction, the presence of others provides public information that could be used by individuals and modulates the individual probability of joining/leaving a site. The way that individual's information processing and the network of interactions influence the dynamics of public information (depending on population size) that in turn affect discrimination in site quality is a central question. Using binary choice between sheltering sites of different quality, we demonstrate that cockroaches in group dramatically outperform the problem-solving ability of single individual. Such use of public information allows animals to discriminate between alternatives whereas isolated individuals are ineffective (i.e. the personal discrimination efficiency is weak). Our theoretical results, obtained from a mathematical model based on behavioral rules derived from experiments, highlight that the collective discrimination emerges from competing amplification processes relying on the modulation of the individual sheltering time without shelters comparison and communication modulation. Finally, we well demonstrated here the adaptive value of such decision algorithm. Without any behavioral change, the system is able to shift to a more effective strategy when alternatives are present: the modification of the spatio-temporal distributions of individuals leading to the collective selection of the best resource. This collective discrimination implying such parsimonious and widespread mechanism must be shared by many group living-species.

Show MeSH