New paper from Einat's group: Information integration for decision-making in desert locusts
12. März 2023
Interested in how accumulated personal experience and the availability of social cues impact locust foraging decisions in symmetric and asymmetric environments, they investigated the animal's decision system by applying a Bayesian estimation for social decision-making. They tested how the social context impacts patch choice and whether locusts form a consensus when two options are available. For this, they tracked the behaviour of locust groups varying in size during simple patch choice assays of either equal or different quality. Their study shows that locusts use both private and social information, which they optimally update by balancing incongruent (opposing) cues and reinforcing congruent (aligned) ones.
→ Locust patch choice is strongly influenced by the social context
→ Foraging locusts select the best available patch, but split when options are equal
→ We infer the locust decision-making rule guiding patch choice
→ Locusts integrate private with social information for informed decision-making
Günzel et al. (2023) Information integration for decision-making in desert locusts. Iscience, 26(4), 106388.