Flocks, Schools, Swarms and Crowds: Collective Behavior in Humans and Animals

February 09, 2009, ESB 1001

Iain Couzin

Princeton University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Collective organization is ubiquitous, as evidenced from examples ranging from the human brain, in which billions of interconnected cells communicate with chemical and electrical signals, to colonies of army ants capable of coordinating raids, to flocks of birds, to human society. Professor Couzin’s work aims to reveal the fundamental principles underlying evolved collective behavior, including questions of how animal groups move in unison, how individual behavior produces group dynamics, and how animal societies make informed unanimous decisions.

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