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Title: Conformity in the collective: differences in hunger affect individual and group behavior in a shoaling fish
Contributor(s): Wilson, Alexander D M (author); Burns, Alicia L J (author); Crosato, Emanuele (author); Lizier, Joseph (author); Prokopenko, Mikhail (author); Schaerf, Timothy M  (author)orcid ; Ward, Ashley J W (author)
Publication Date: 2019-07
Early Online Version: 2019-04-03
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arz036
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Abstract: Animal groups are often composed of individuals that vary according to behavioral, morphological, and internal state parameters. Understanding the importance of such individual-level heterogeneity to the establishment and maintenance of coherent group responses is of fundamental interest in collective behavior. We examined the influence of hunger on the individual and collective behavior of groups of shoaling fish, x-ray tetras (Pristella maxillaris). Fish were assigned to one of two nutritional states, satiated or hungry, and then allocated to 5 treatments that represented different ratios of satiated to hungry individuals (8 hungry, 8 satiated, 4:4 hungry:satiated, 2:6 hungry:satiated, 6:2 hungry:satiated). Our data show that groups with a greater proportion of hungry fish swam faster and exhibited greater nearest neighbor distances. Within groups, however, there was no difference in the swimming speeds of hungry versus well-fed fish, suggesting that group members conform and adapt their swimming speed according to the overall composition of the group. We also found significant differences in mean group transfer entropy, suggesting stronger patterns of information flow in groups comprising all, or a majority of, hungry individuals. In contrast, we did not observe differences in polarization, a measure of group alignment, within groups across treatments. Taken together these results demonstrate that the nutritional state of animals within social groups impacts both individual and group behavior, and that members of heterogenous groups can adapt their behavior to facilitate coherent collective motion.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/DP160103905
Source of Publication: Behavioral Ecology, 30(4), p. 968-974
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1465-7279
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060801 Animal Behaviour
010202 Biological Mathematics
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 310301 Behavioural ecology
310901 Animal behaviour
490102 Biological mathematics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
970101 Expanding Knowledge in the Mathematical Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280118 Expanding knowledge in the mathematical sciences
280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Science and Technology

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