Signals, space and time Exploring the spatiotemporal dimension of animal communication networks

January 3 – Febuary 28, 2021

Meeting Abstract

S6-11  Tue Jan 5 18:00 – 18:30  Signals, space and time: Exploring the spatiotemporal dimension of animal communication networks Reichert, MS*; Carlson, NV; Enriquez, MS; Raja, SV; Oklahoma State University; Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour; University of Minnesota, Duluth; National Centre for Biological Sciences (TIFR)

Communication is a social process, and occurs in a network of signalers and receivers. While social network analysis has received enormous recent attention from animal behaviorists, there have been relatively few attempts to apply these techniques to communication networks. Communication networks have the potential to offer novel insights into social network studies, and yet are especially challenging subjects, largely because of their unique spatiotemporal characteristics. Namely, signals propagate through the environment, thus dissociating from the body of the signaler to influence receiver behavior. The speed of signal propagation and the active space of the signal will affect the congruence of proximity-based networks and communication networks; in extreme cases the signal may persist and only first be detected long after the signaler has left the area. Other signals move more rapidly and over greater distances than the signaler could possibly move to reach receivers. We discuss the spatial and temporal consequences of signaling in networks, and highlight the distinction between the physical location of the signaler and the spread of influence of its signals, the effects of signal modality (and multimodality) on communication network properties, the potential for feedbacks between network layers, and techniques for analyzing spatial and temporal change in communication networks along with relating these to social networks based on proximity.

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