Simon DeDeo, Jessica Flack, David Krakauer

Paper #: 11-01-002

We analyze the timescales of conflict decision-making in a primate society. We present evidence for multiple, periodic timescales associated with social decision-making and behavioral 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, and many are not driven by exogenous or internal regularities. Our results indicate that they 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 on the order of one hour. We propose a classification of behavioral timescales analogous to those of the nervous system, with high-frequency, or α-scale, behavior occurring on hour-long scales, through to multi-hour, or β-scale, behavior, and, finally γ periodicities observed on a timescale of days.