Home > Papers from 2011 > Individual versus public knowledge

Individual versus public knowledge

The field of insect navigation tends to focus on the abilities of the individual, be that path integration or visual learning. Of course, for many (if not most) ant species there is a ready supply of public information in the form of pheromone trails. It was known already that experienced foragers would use their own learnt visual cues in preference to a pheromone trail. However, the dynamics of how (and how fast) intermediate foragers switch to private knowledge was unclear. In this paper, Gruter et al show that individual foragers will trust their own route knowledge remarkably quickly. After only one visit to a feeder, ants would shun a strong trail to follow the route that they are familiar with.

 

Decision making in ant foragers (Lasius niger) facing conflicting private and social information

Christoph Grüter, Tomer J. Czaczkes and Francis L. W. Ratnieks.

BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY. Volume 65, 141-148

 

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Categories: Papers from 2011
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