Collins Conference Room
Working Group
  US Mountain Time

Our campus is closed to the public for this event.

Meeting description:  Data suggest that decision-making strategies in biological systems share universal features. In particular, the decision process in distributed collectives like neural systems, social insect groups, and primate societies consists of two basic parts: information accumulation and a an aggregation process. During the aggregation process, components can come to have the same opinion (redundant consensus), or consensus can be collectively encoded with components preserving their unique opinions (collectively encoded consensus). Are there fundamental design constraints that make this two-part process likely when coming to a decision via collective computation? Are the accumulation and consensus processes similar across systems or do different information processing demands and variation in system heterogeneity lead to different collective accumulation and consensus strategies? Can we predict the contexts favoring collective consensus versus redundant consensus? Can these processes be universally interpreted in the context of critical transitions into stable decision states? 

In this working group, we bring together experts in theoretical and experimental analysis of distributed decision making across multiple biological systems. Our aim is to uncover commonalities in collective dynamics that reveal nature’s strategies for creating accurate and robust aggregate decision states.

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Jessica Flack and Bryan Daniels

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