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Information propagation and collective swings in biological groups

On April 5th, 4pm - Budinich Hall

The speaker, Irene Giardina  from La Sapienza University (Rome), will present an experimental and theoretical study of collective movements in animal groups. 

Starting from experimental data on collective turns in starling flocks, Dr Giardina will discuss what is the mechanism that triggers a collective change (a turn) and grants efficient and fast information propagation through the system. 
In fact, collective changes in biological groups require all individuals in the group to go through a behavioral change of state.  Sometimes these changes are triggered by external perturbations, as in evasive maneuvers of animal groups under predatory attacks.
Often, however, they occur spontaneously and are only due to internal behavioral fluctuations. 
In all cases, the efficiency of information transport is a key factor to prevent cohesion loss and preserve collective robustness.