Pawel Romanczuk (Personal webpage )

Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Animal groups or cellular ensembles represent fascinating examples of self-organized biological systems. In contrast to non-living physical systems, self-organized biological collectives are the result of evolutionary adaptations. But collective behavior is also always subject to constraints set by the physics of the interaction mechanisms and corresponding self-organized dynamical structure. Our general aim is to explore this interplay between self-organization and function in collective behavior in biology with an approach rooted in statistical physics, stochastic systems and network theory. Classical models of collective behavior inspired by statistical physics often implicitly assume that individuals have access to state variables not directly encoded it their sensory input, such es exact velocity vectors of all neighbors within a finite interaction range. It becomes more and more apparent that the classical models need to be revised to incorporate constraints of individuals perception, i.e., how internal and external information are acquired and processed, leading to novel types of models and unexpected dynamical behavior at macroscopic scales. In this context, I will discuss different aspects of our recent work: 1) Attention trade-offs in flocking in complex environments under sensory/cognitive constraints. 2) A minimal purely vision-based model of collective movement, as well as 3) optimal predator response and criticality.