Ants' hive mind

Ants' hive mind

The insects make better decisions collectively than when on their own

By Sarah Zielinski, 15:44 PM October 2, 2012

When faced with too many options, an ant makes better choices when it relies on others.

Researchers at Arizona State University tracked individual ants marked with colored dots as they selected a home out of a set of eight nest sites, half good and half poor. On their own, ants got overwhelmed and chose good sites only 50 percent of the time — no better than chance.

But when the whole colony was put to the test, each ant visited only one or two sites, limiting information overload. As the an...

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