Send to

Choose Destination
J Theor Biol. 2009 Dec 21;261(4):501-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.08.013. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Collective motion in animal groups from a neurobiological perspective: the adaptive benefits of dynamic sensory loads and selective attention.

Author information

University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 358218, Seattle, WA 98195-8218, USA.


We explore mechanisms associated with collective animal motion by drawing on the neurobiological bases of sensory information processing and decision-making. The model uses simplified retinal processes to translate neighbor movement patterns into information through spatial signal integration and threshold responses. The structure provides a mechanism by which individuals can vary their sets of influential neighbors, a measure of an individual's sensory load. Sensory loads are correlated with group order and density, and we discuss their adaptive values in an ecological context. The model also provides a mechanism by which group members can identify, and rapidly respond to, novel visual stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center