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Amé, J. - M., Halloy, J., Rivault, C., Detrain, C., & Deneubourg, J. L. (2006). Collegial decision making based on social amplification leads to optimal group formation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 103(15), 5835–5840.
Abstract: Group-living animals are often faced with choosing between one or more alternative resource sites. A central question in such collective decision making includes determining which individuals induce the decision and when. This experimental and theoretical study of shelter selection by cockroach groups demonstrates that choices can emerge through nonlinear interaction dynamics between equal individuals without perfect knowledge or leadership. We identify a simple mechanism whereby a decision is taken on the move with limited information and signaling and without comparison of available opportunities. This mechanism leads to optimal mean benefit for group individuals. Our model points to a generic self-organized collective decision-making process independent of animal species.
Durier, V., & Rivault, C. (2000). Learning and foraging efficiency in German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.) (Insecta: Dictyoptera). Anim. Cogn., 3(3), 139–145.
Abstract: We analysed, under laboratory test conditions, how German cockroach larvae oriented their outgoing foraging trip from their shelter. Our results stressed the importance of external factors, like availability and spatial distribution of food sources, in the choice of a foraging strategy within their home range. When food sources were randomly distributed, larvae adopted a random food search strategy. When food distribution was spatially predictable and reliable, cockroaches were able to relate the presence of food with a landmark during a 3-day training period and to develop an oriented search strategy. Cockroaches were able to associate learned spatial information about their home range to the presence of food resources and then to improve their foraging efficiency. However, conflict experiments revealed that detection of food odour overrode learned landmark cues.