Ants behave like a neural network

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Ant colonies never cease to amaze them. by them Duration Life is a hundred times higher than other insects, by their ability to lift up to 1,000 times their own weight, but also by their colonies, surprisingly! The researchers, in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesOn Decision making The community that happens there. “We have devised an approach to understanding the ant colony as a cognition-like system, which perceives input and then translates it into behavioral output.Daniel JC Kronauer, first author of the study and head of the Social Development and Behavior Laboratory at Rockefeller University explains. This is one of the first steps to understanding how insect communities can truly participate in collective computing.”

Neural network-like behavior

For this, they gradually increased the temperature inside Ant colonies Of different sizes, note from what threshold the ants leave the nest, and in what way. The individual follow-up was done thanks to the education of ants with points the color. They found that the colony’s movement was made suddenly, while just before the ants were behaving in the usual way. They also found a difference in temperature according to colony size.

According to them, everything is determined by a collective assessment of the cost / benefit ratio, a process similar to neural computations from which decisions are made. Thus, for a small colony, it is much less expensive to move all the individuals than it is to move a large colony. The movement is triggered earlier, so at a lower temperature for a small group compared to a large group. But how do ants know the size of their group? According to the researchers, this may be due to the effect of pheromoneschemicals that allow them to communicate, which would be more intense for a large colony.

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