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Abstract

Network analyses have revolutionized the study of social behavior in animal populations, but have been predominantly focused on describing the social actions/decisions/behaviors in currently existing populations. In this talk, I will discuss a series of simulation studies that show how efficient group organizational structure can emerge from individual selfish choices, even when the desired metric of global efficiency is something beyond the capability of any one individual to evaluate. I’ll show how these results complement standard game theoretic discussions of the evolution of cooperation (including ‘defecting’) to allow us to study evolutionary selection on group task efficiency in already-social species. These results have direct implications for the evolution of social systems and (hopefully) provide some intriguing potential mechanisms for general feedback control on global network outcomes.