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Quantum Structure in Competing Lizard Communities

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2015, 09:18 by D. Aerts, J. Broekaert, M. Czachor, M. Kuna, B. Sinervod, Sandro Sozzo
Almost two decades of research on applications of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory as a modeling tool in domains different from the micro-world has given rise to many successful applications in situations related to human behavior and thought, more specifically in cognitive processes of decision-making and the ways concepts are combined into sentences. In this article, we extend this approach to animal behavior, showing that an analysis of an interactive situation involving a mating competition between certain lizard morphs allows to identify a quantum theoretic structure. More in particular, we show that when this lizard competition is analyzed structurally in the light of a compound entity consisting of subentities, the contextuality provided by the presence of an underlying rock-paper-scissors cyclic dynamics leads to a violation of Bell's inequality, which means it is of a non-classical type. We work out an explicit quantum-mechanical representation in Hilbert space for the lizard situation and show that it faithfully models a set of experimental data collected on three throat-colored morphs of a specific lizard species. Furthermore, we investigate the Hilbert space modeling, and show that the states describing the lizard competitions contain entanglement for each one of the considered confrontations of lizards with different competing strategies, which renders it no longer possible to interpret these states of the competing lizards as compositions of states of the individual lizards.


This research was supported by Grants G.0234.08 and G.0405.08 of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research, and by NSF awards DEB8919600, DEB9307999, IBN9631757, IBN9629793, DEB0108577, IBN0213179, DEB0515973, DEB0918268 and IOS1022031 to B.S. and by the Arbelbide family, who generously provided access to their land.



Ecological Modelling, 2014, 281, pp. 38-51 (14)

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