How ants avoid wasted effort: new research

Usually we think of the importance of sharing 'positive' intelligence between organisational team members (for example Virtual Team Behavior - Curiosity and Learning). However recent UK research on foraging Pharaoh ants indicates that sharing 'negative' intelligence to avoid wasted effort may be just as important.

In Scents and sensibility: How foraging ants get the food we read how Pharaoh ants scouting for food place a tiny scent marker on branches that do not lead to a reward, according to a study just published in Nature, the weekly British science journal.

The team concludes that the ants use a repellent pheromone to mark unrewarding branches at "decision-points" - where branches fork.

"It provides advance warning, like human road signs situated before junctions," the authors suggest.

Pheromone-based messaging is the oldest and most evolved form of biological signalling and its potential application in mobile and distributed human teams is described in The perfect mobile group communications system.


Comments (0)| Related (3) |

Print this article

2 Comments

The good thing about a pheromone marker is that it fades over time; it has a built-in sunset clause. A path that was once deemed unproductive can be re-explored and re-evaluated in the future when conditions have changed.

Very good point - I really the idea of 'sunset clauses' on experience and information. It is too easy to say this always/never works and not re-evaluate. I guess this what makes the difference between a team having 10 years experience and a team having 1 years experience repeated 10 times.

 


Bioteams Books Reviews

Organisations are complex living systems claims leading scientist

Organisations are complex living systems claims leading scientist

Fritjof Capra says organisations are not just like living systems - they are living systems! In his latest book, The Hidden Connections, Fritjof Capra, acclaimed physicist and author of the Web of Life and the Tao of Physics, challenges us to go beyond the metaphor and see to what extent human organisations can literally be understood as living systems.


Buy it now from:
Amazon.Com
Amazon.Co.UK


(1) |

continue reading

Click here to check all Bioteams book reviews

Ken's LinkedIn Profile



Follow Ken's Blogs



NASA Widget2_160x40.jpg

KenThompson


Featured Categories

Trending Topics

agility analytics ants autopoiesis bees biomimicry bioteaming bioteams change management collaboration Collaboration collective intelligence community complex systems dashboards digital dashboards ecosystems excel experiential learning flock games high-performing teams HPT innovation leadership learning meetings mobile phones organizational teams penguins pheromones self-managed teams serious games simulators social media Social Networks social networks social software swarm swarm intelligence swarmteams teams teamwork The Networked Enterprise tit for tat VEN videos virtual communities virtual enterprise virtual enterprise networks virtual teams visualization web2.0 wisdom of crowds

Click for more...

Featured Article

Team joining hands

The secret DNA of high-performing virtual teams

Bioteaming – the secret to high-performing, self-organising, virtually networked teams... more

Locations of visitors to this page

Bioteams iphone app
Bioteams android app

Search www.bioteams.com


Bioteams Lite

FeedWind

Latest Full Articles


Bioteams Assessor - Instantly check how good your team is?
BioScore Calculator – Instantly see if you need Bioteams
Discover Bioteams principles Yourself via Action Learning

Bioteams Manifesto

Communities and Networks Connection

Bioteams Ice-Breaker Zone

Only Fools and Horses Video Clip Funny Team Collaboration Video Dilbert Mission Statement Generator Ali G Video Funny Red Dwarf Video  FatherTed  Pixar

News Feed

Sign up for RSS   RSS Feed Subscription
        (What's RSS?)

10 Most popular posts

Recent posts

Archives

Download Browsealoud