Individual versus collective cognition in social insects

Abstract : The concerted responses of eusocial insects to environmental stimuli are often referred to as collective cognition on the level of the colony.To achieve collective cognitiona group can draw on two different sources: individual cognitionand the connectivity between individuals.Computation in neural-networks, for example,is attributedmore tosophisticated communication schemes than to the complexity of individual neurons. The case of social insects, however, can be expected to differ. This is since individual insects are cognitively capable units that are often able to process information that is directly relevant at the level of the colony.Furthermore, involved communication patterns seem difficult to implement in a group of insects since these lack clear network structure.This review discusses links between the cognition of an individual insect and that of the colony. We provide examples for collective cognition whose sources span the full spectrum between amplification of individual insect cognition and emergent group-level processes.
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Ofer Feinerman, Amos Korman. Individual versus collective cognition in social insects. Journal of Experimental Biology, Cambridge University Press, 2017, 220, pp.73 - 82. ⟨10.1242/jeb.143891⟩. ⟨hal-01432718⟩

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