DeDeo, S.,Krakauer, D.,Flack, J.

We analyse the timescales of conflict decision-making in a primate society. We present evidence for multiple, periodic timescales associated with social decision-making and behavioural patterns. We demonstrate the existence of periodicities that are not directly coupled to environmental cycles or known ultraridian mechanisms. Among specific biological and socially defined demographic classes, periodicities span timescales between hours and days. Our results indicate that these periodicities are not driven by exogenous or internal regularities but are instead driven by strategic responses to social interaction patterns. Analyses also reveal that a class of individuals, playing a critical functional role, policing, have a signature timescale of the order of 1 h. We propose a classification of behavioural time-scales analogous to those of the nervous system, with high frequency, or alpha-scale, behaviour occurring on hour-long scales, through to multi-hour, or beta-scale, behaviour, and, finally gamma periodicities observed on a timescale of days.