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Sociobiology of Communicationan interdisciplinary perspective$
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Patrizia d'Ettorre and David P. Hughes

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216840.001.0001

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Synergy in social communication

Synergy in social communication

(p.191) CHAPTER 11 Synergy in social communication
Sociobiology of Communication

David J. T. Sumpter

Åke Brännström

Oxford University Press

Synergy is where the interactions of a group of individuals becomes more than the sum of their parts. This chapter reviews how, through the use of social communication, foraging animals can increase their rate of finding food. This chapter discusses how mechanisms such as pheromone trails, dancing, and other signals act to increase group, and thus individual success. It also discusses how social dilemmas can arise where costly signalling can be exploited by non-signallers. It shows that under a range of conditions, specifically when group success increases more than linearly with group size, co-operative signalling can evolve without kin selection or recipricocity. This study serves to emphasise the importance in linking mechanism with function when studying collective behaviour of animals.

Keywords:   collective behaviour, self-organisation, group foraging, pheromone trails, dancing

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