Remembering information is a fundamental aspect of cognition present in numerous natural systems. It allows adaptation of the behavior as a function of previously encountered situations. For instance, many living organisms use memory to recall if a given situation incurred a penalty or a reward and rely on that information to avoid or reproduce that situation. In groups, memory is commonly studied in the case where individual members are themselves capable of learning and a few of them hold pieces of information that can be later retrieved for the benefits of the group. Here, we investigate how a group may display memory when the individual members have reactive behaviors and can not learn any information. The well known conditioning experiments of Pavlov illustrate how single animals can memorize stimuli associated with a reward and later trigger a related behavioral response even in the absence of reward. To study and demonstrate collective memory in artificial systems, we get inspiration from the Pavlov experiments and propose a setup tailored for testing our robotic swarm. We devised a novel behavior based on the fundamental process of aggregation with which robots exhibit collective memory. We show that the group is capable of encoding, storing, and retrieving information that is not present at the level of the individuals.
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