Symmetry Restoring Bifurcation in Collective Decision-Making
2014 (English)In: PloS Computational Biology, ISSN 1553-734X, E-ISSN 1553-7358, Vol. 10, no 12, e1003960- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
How social groups and organisms decide between alternative feeding sites or shelters has been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically. One key result is the existence of a symmetry-breaking bifurcation at a critical system size, where there is a switch from evenly distributed exploitation of all options to a focussed exploitation of just one. Here we present a decision-making model in which symmetry-breaking is followed by a symmetry restoring bifurcation, whereby very large systems return to an even distribution of exploitation amongst options. The model assumes local positive feedback, coupled with a negative feedback regulating the flow toward the feeding sites. We show that the model is consistent with three different strains of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum, choosing between two feeding sites. We argue that this combination of feedbacks could allow collective foraging organisms to react flexibly in a dynamic environment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 10, no 12, e1003960- p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243062DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003960ISI: 000346656700020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-243062DiVA: diva2:787247
FunderEU, European Research Council, IDCAB 220/104702003