Monday, January 24, 2011

Democratic Fish

Research shows that schools of stickleback fish considering the preferences of their peers before choosing a leader. In the study, as the fish population grew, more and more fish selected the fitter candidate - indicating a beneficial feedback mechanism. The phenomenon conforms with the quorum-response rule where a few individuals differentiate between 2 candidates and take the lead in selecting a leader. The rest of the group waits for a threshold number of fish to make a particular decision. The threshold, and accuracy, increases with group size.

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