NDT and the Science of Collective Behavior

http://icouzin.princeton.edu

The core tenets of NDT theory—– (1) Emotion acts on the body/mind as a virtual “force” of attraction (2) Emotion always moves from the predator to prey polarity (3) Complex canine behavior emerges as a function of the prey drive —– might initially seem to be radical, outside of the mainstream ideas. But science is steadily trending in this direction and the latest research on swarming behavior is further affirmation. The video at the bottom of the linked website features Iain Couzin teaching the hosts of the NPR show “Radio Lab” about collective animal/fish/bird/insect behavior. At the end of the video the segment on Locusts is especially important as Couzin demonstrates that the basis of locust swarms is one locust in the swarm trying to avoid being eaten by a fellow swarming locust.

It might help to bear in mind that the only thing that makes NDT theory seem fantastic is due to the human intellectual reflex to project human thoughts and personalities onto complex and intelligent emotional systems. We see things that are equal and yet opposite as being diametrically opposed and fundamentally different from each other, and thus we don’t see the flow principle that connects them. In this way we instinctively and mistakenly think that there are many emotions, not one, and that feelings are indistinguishable from thoughts. For example, dominance and submission are misapprehended as psychological motives, such as either establishing rank or controlling access over resources, instead of the equal and opposite of the predatory prey polarities by which emotion moves and thus how a collective consciousness and collectivized movements emerge from that flow without any concept within the individual mind about control over a resource or ascension within a social hierarchy. An immediate-moment manner of analysis bypasses this intellectual reflex, finds concordance with the basic laws of nature and thereby reveals what the latest modeling and mathematical analysis is only now able to illuminate.

Published November 1, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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8 responses to “NDT and the Science of Collective Behavior”

  1. Skip Skipper says:

    http://youtu.be/YzvTMwBD0ZA

    Iain Couzin on youtube
    Stunning how this relates to NDT and possibly the Constuctal Law!

  2. kbehan says:

    Thank you Skip for this link. I’m only 20 mins in and I can’t believe my eyes and ears. Whoever has the strongest feeling goes first, the rest are happy to follow. Information = prey relative to predator. This idea of a collective consciousness became clear to me in the seventies when I understood that the prey impulse (hunger circuitry) was the basis of a positive attraction. (Predator on the other hand triggers stress, the memory of a positive attraction.) Emotion moves as a wave, feelings are how it propagates. Awareness of the environment is collected as a group and spreads as a wave, and not dependent on telepathy. In complex behavior of social vertebrates, physical memory stores the charge and then the wave propagates over Time as well as over Space. (although telepathy very well exists, it’s just that animals are constrained to deal with the nuts and the bolts and conform to specific environmental niches and the prey/predator duality is how nature evolves as a whole). Alignment, synchronization, indeed the Constructal law. Much more to say later.

  3. wetnosewarmhearts says:

    Wow! The YouTube video is great. I was time-challeged, and found this shorter article with great photos and graphs. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/03/powers-of-swarms/all/

  4. kbehan says:

    Thanks for that excellent article. Very gratifying to see attraction/repulsion/alignment as the holy trinity of collective intelligence. I think they next have to bring in the Constructal law, to wit, the purpose isn’t to survive/reproduce, but to persist by importing objects of resistance into the configuration in order to increase the flow. When one adds the flow into the equation, the purpose of behavior comes into sharper focus. The one force in nature that integrates attraction/repulsion/alignment into a flow dynamic? Electromagnetism. My theory is that the interplay of the Central Nervous System, Enteric Nervous System, Heart, and the Physical anatomy, replicates the dynamics of electromagnetism in the body/minds of animals and thus converts the resistance they experience (stress) back into flow (emotion), only now as an improvement of the configuration, i.e. heightened sociability.

  5. Josh D says:

    Speaking to electromagnetism, I’m not sure if you made it through the whole YT video Kevin but at 52:00 Iain Couzin discusses how the density of locusts in his study hits a critical mass which causes the alignment which closely parallels the transition state of magnets when heated (as I recall losing their magnetism). Really fascinating stuff!

  6. kbehan says:

    Not there yet but sooner or later the connection with animals acting as if electromagnetically charged is going to be made.

  7. wetnosewarmhearts says:

    The video attached to this article reminds me of your comment about how the predator also adds energy to the swarm. It is a feedback system. And, at some point swimming against the grain changes everything. http://fluency21.com/sardines.html

  8. kbehan says:

    Very interesting. Another example of the Constructal law as manifested by the bifurcated construct of an organism’s makeup, i.e. every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So all the flow in one direction increases the potential for an individual to go against the grain and increase information by being the bud of a branching architecture.

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