Scaling and intermittency in animal behaviour

A. Harnos, G. Horváth, A. B. Lawrence, G. Vattay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scale-invariant spatial and temporal patterns have been observed in a large variety of biological systems. It has been argued that animals in general might perform Levy flight motion with power law distribution of times between successive changes of the direction of motion. Here we study the temporal behaviour of nesting gilts. The time spent by a gilt in a given form of activity has a power law probability distribution without a finite average. Further analysis reveals intermittent occurrence of certain periodic behavioural sequences which are responsible for the scaling behaviour and indicates the existence of a critical state. This is in close analogy with temporal sequences of velocity found in turbulent flows, where random and regular sequences alternate and form an intermittent sequence. The source of this complex behaviour can come only from the neural system forced by hormonal stimulus due to nesting instincts. This is the first carefully examined case, where complex scaling behaviour of animals is related to the self-organization and possibly to some unstable critical state of the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-320
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume286
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2000

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Intermittency
intermittency
animals
Animals
Critical State
Power-law Distribution
Scaling
Scaling Behavior
scaling
Regular Sequence
Lévy Flights
Motion
Random Sequence
Scale Invariant
Self-organization
nervous system
Turbulent Flow
Biological Systems
Alternate
Analogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

Cite this

Scaling and intermittency in animal behaviour. / Harnos, A.; Horváth, G.; Lawrence, A. B.; Vattay, G.

In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Vol. 286, No. 1, 15.10.2000, p. 312-320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harnos, A. ; Horváth, G. ; Lawrence, A. B. ; Vattay, G. / Scaling and intermittency in animal behaviour. In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications. 2000 ; Vol. 286, No. 1. pp. 312-320.
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