SMS scnews item created by Holger Dullin at Fri 11 Sep 2009 1350
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 16 Sep 2009
Calendar1: 16 Sep 2009 1400-1500
CalLoc1: Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre
Auth: dullin@p714.pc (assumed)

Applied Maths Seminar: Myerscough -- Decision-making by ants, bees and brains

Mary Myerscough, University of Sydney 

Decision-making by ants, bees and brains.  

Wednesday 16th Sep 14:05-14:55pm, Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre.  

Many systems, including human societies make decisions where individual units recruit to
their preferred choice until one option is the clear winner.  It is tempting to think
that this type of decision-making always uses fundamentally the same mechanism; that is,
a single mathematical model could represent any such system.  

We look at mechanisms and models for decision-making in the ant Temnothorax albipennis
and the European honey bee Apis mellifera and show that these creatures make decisions
in ways that are fundamentally different mathematically.  If time permits we will look
briefly at the theory of neural decision making and show why a honey bee is more
sophisticated than the human brain.

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