Ant Brain

Ant Brain

Some years ago, I drew a series of ant cartoons to illustrate Eugene Eric Kim’s talk on collective intelligence. (See the slide deck here.)

In conceptual research, I came across multiple references to the trippy trivia that an ant colony is the neuronal equivalent of a human brain. Yet number of neurons seems a reductive way to judge intelligence. In the collective, ant intelligence is recognizable in the structures they create, cooperative survival behaviors (e.g., ant rafts), farming behaviors, the familiar list goes on. But I was amazed to learn, among other things, that teaching by individuals has been observed in the form of tandem running.

Ant Civilization

Made by Amy Wu in 2011.

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