Algorithms and neural mechanisms of social and collective behavior


Armin Bahl | University of Konstanz, Germany
Katrin Vogt | University of Konstanz, Germany


Neuroscience experiments have been classically performed under highly controlled conditions in isolated animals, largely ignoring that, in the wild, many animals usually socially interact in heterogeneous groups. To understand the algorithmic computations and neural mechanisms of such naturalistic behavior, it is therefore important to include social contexts in our theoretical analyses and experimental pipelines. The emerging research field of the study of the algorithms and neural mechanisms of social and collective behavior has recently made major technological breakthroughs, ranging from sophisticated closed-loop virtual reality systems to novel physiological recording methods. These advances make it now feasible to systematically dissect how collective behavior benefits group decision-making performance, which sensory cues animals use to recognize each other, which algorithms govern collective behavior, and how nervous systems combine, potentially conflicting, sensory input. Our proposed satellite workshop aims to bring together leading researchers who have significantly contributed to addressing these questions. We have selected speakers based on an emphasis on a broad perspective across model systems, ranging from insects to fish, to rodents, and primates. This diversity will allow us to identify general principles across species. We have also finely balanced the level of theory and experiment, so the audience can benefit from extensive discussions on developing and applying computational methods to better understand and predict neural and behavioral data.

Schedule (CEST)

Sunday, Sep 29


Iain Couzin | University of Konstanz, Germany
The geometry of decision-making in collective behavior


Johannes Larsch | University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Visual circuits for social affiliation in zebrafish


Lisanne Schulze | University of California San Diego, USA
Development of neural circuits for social motion perception in schooling fish


Pawel Romańczuk | Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Beyond minimal flocking models – cognitive constraints and vision-based interactions in models of collective behavior


Coffee break


Lilach Avitan | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Temporal synchrony as a basis for social behavior in zebrafish


Katrin Vogt | University of Konstanz, Germany
Social modulation of decision-making in Drosophila larvae


Annika Chichy | University of Bonn, Germany
State-dependent modulation of odor valence and social behavior via the main olfactory pathway


Ahmed El Hady | University of Konstanz, Germany
Behavioral algorithms underlying social foraging