Meeting Abstract

9-2  Thursday, Jan. 5 08:15 - 08:30  The organization of societal conflicts by pavement ants Tetramorium caespitum: an agent-based model of amine-mediated decision making. HOOVER, KM*; BUBAK, AN; LAW, IJ; YAEGER, JDW; RENNER, KJ; SWALLOW, JG; GREENE, MJ; University of Colorado Denver; University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; University of Colorado Denver; University of South Dakota; University of South Dakota; University of Colorado Denver; University of Colorado Denver

Ant colonies self-organize to solve complex problems despite the simplicity of an individual ant’ s brain. Pavement ant colonies must solve the problem of defending the territory that they patrol in search of energetically rich forage. When members of two colonies randomly interact at the territory boundary a decision to fight occurs when 1) there is a mismatch in nestmate recognition cues and 2) each ant as a recent history of high interaction rates with nestmate ants. In ants, the monoamines serotonin and octopamine modulate behaviors associated with nestmate recognition and aggression. We develop and explore an agent based model that conceptualizes how individual changes in brain concentrations of monoamines, paired with a simple threshold based decision rule can lead to the development of colony wide warfare. Model simulations do lead to the development of warfare with 91% of ants fighting at the end of 1 hour. When conducting a sensitivity analysis we determined that uncertainty in monoamine concentration signal decay influences the behavior of the model more than uncertainty in the decision making rule or density. We conclude with the conceptualization of a “monoamine clock” mechanism that would explain the behavior observed in the model.