The gathering of a significant number of elements within a limited space.
Concentration is a widespread process among animals and people. It obeys to a variety of causes, possibly the most basic is related to thermodynamics and entropy production. (Prigogine's theorem of minimum entropy production and his model of structuration through dissipation of energy)
Concentration may result from specific environmental pressure, as in the cases of the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum or some species of locusts mutating to their gregarious phase.
In fishes and in birds, concentration leads to protective herd effects and in social insects it has similar but much more complex effects.
It seems that, in all cases of concentration, some specific factor of reciprocal perception is at work. In many animal species pheromones are such factors. Once reciprocal perception is activated, it tends to become self-maintaining, or even self-reinforcing. A very suggestive case is stigmergy, in termites societies where close contacts lead to positive behavioral feedback and introduce the possibility of constructive social coordination.
In fact, the gathering of elements, formerly unconnected and behaviorally independent, seems to be a condition for the emergence of systems of higher levels of complexity, in a kind of self-organizing cybernetic process. V. Csanyi described this transformation as autogenesis.
The human species is of course by far the most self-concentrating species. Its "pheromone" is language and its efficiency is in the transmission of information. Human concentration has been accelerating all along history and the present growing megalopolis are the most outstanding example of this trend.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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