Andrew Hartnett

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Conflicting interests among group members are common when making collective decisions, yet failure to achieve consensus can be costly. Under these circumstances individuals may be susceptible to manipulation by a strongly opinionated, or extremist, minority. It has previously been argued, for humans and animals, that social groups containing individuals who(More)
Coordination among social animals requires rapid and efficient transfer of information among individuals, which may depend crucially on the underlying structure of the communication network. Establishing the decision-making circuits and networks that give rise to individual behavior has been a central goal of neuroscience. However, the analogous problem of(More)
Learning has been studied extensively in the context of isolated individuals. However, many organisms are social and consequently make decisions both individually and as part of a collective. Reaching consensus necessarily means that a single option is chosen by the group, even when there are dissenting opinions. This decision-making process decouples the(More)
Miller et al. (1) demonstrate, by confronting groups of fish with three options, that information can be effectively integrated, allowing consensus despite no individual being aware of the consensus option. The different ways in which the conflict can be resolved allow testing of collective decision-making theories. The experimental results show more(More)
During consensus decision making, individuals in groups balance personal information (based on their own past experiences) with social information (based on the behavior of other individuals), allowing the group to reach a single collective choice. Previous studies of consensus decision making processes have focused on the informational aspects of(More)
The ability of some animals to mount highly coordinated collective responses such as schooling, swarming, and flocking is extraordinary and somewhat unsettling, as anyone who watched the harmonious navigation of a school of fish can attest. Great strides have been made since the early days of studying this phenomenon, when telepathy seemed as good an(More)
In recent years, a large body of research has focused on unveiling the fundamental physical processes that living systems utilize to perform functions, such as coordinated action and collective decision making. Here, we demonstrate that important features of collective decision making among higher organisms are captured effectively by a novel formulation of(More)
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