(c) Wolfgang Goymann/MPIO

Collective Signals

One of the most impressive communication behaviours is collective signalling, in which a group joins together in a chorus or members of a pair produce a duet. Collective signals are particularly interesting, because the interplay between the single components produced by different individuals can form a new quality, which, in turn, may act as a signal itself. We are studying duetting birds as a simple model for how individual-level behaviours give rise to the properties of group-level phenomena. Specifically, we are interested in how collective signals are coordinated, what information they convey, and how such complex communication systems can evolve.

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