EDIT: As suggested by L.Dutch, I turned the original post into a series of its own.

Some Context

A "Hive Mind" is an aggressive type of shared consciousness (for more information on shared consciousness, check out this question). It's basically a group of individuals connected by a "psychic link". The main difference when compared to the shared consciousnesses is the existence of an hierarchy composed of a single "leader" and his multiple "drones".

Though the link connects every member together, it works in favor of the leader. He can access any information ever stored by his drones (again, thoughts, memories, emotions, senses, etc) and they can do nothing to stop him, since he's able to completely control their bodies.

Aside from telepathy, the leader also has an extraordinary brain capacity. His brain works as a multiprocessor, which has enough "threads" to control several drones at the same time, giving equal attention to them. Usually, a stronger brain means a higher drone count under the clutches of the leader.

As stated before, a hive mind can only have a single leader. You are free, however, to decide if the position of leader is subject to change.

The Question

How could this creature ever evolve and how is it able to estabilish such a powerful domain over others?


Stuff to help you (hopefully)

  • First of all, try not to confuse hive mind with shared consciousness. I have created another question (link) to address that. I recommend you read it in order to know the difference;
  • Though it seems that I was specifically referring to humans, feel free to propose a hive mind capable of assimilating any lifeform avaiable;
  • If allowed by the leader, a drone can control another drone's body. But keep in mind that this "multithreading" should take a toll in a mind that isn't as developed as the leader's;

If other questions arise in the comments, I'll edit the post and keep updating this section with useful information.

  • 1
    One question per post, please. And also make clear the difference between this and your previous question. – L.Dutch Nov 9 at 13:22
  • @L.Dutch I will limit this to a single question. But I do want the other questions answered. Should I make multiple questions here to answer each of them? (I will do the same to the other question, if that's the case) – Magus Nov 9 at 13:25
  • 1
    It is fine to spread more questions over several, interlinked post. See the vacuum adapted post human series, for example. – L.Dutch Nov 9 at 13:30
  • I will do that. Thanks for explaining :) – Magus Nov 9 at 13:34
  • @L.Dutch one final doubt: By splitting this question (and the other) into a series, will this series still be a part of the anatomically correct series or should I remove the reference to it? – Magus Nov 9 at 13:46

Let's address the nature of a hive mind first.

You ask how your leader is able to establish dominance over the drones, and note the distinction between "shared" and "hive" consciousnesses. I would argue that a hive mind is not similar to a puppet-master controlling minions as you describe.

Your leader does not need to dominate - they were literally born to assume a position of leadership. Like a colony of bees, your hive mind's very existence is predicated around nurturing, and fiercely protecting your leader, as well as preparing for the next leader's birth.

Insofar as your leader does "control" the drones, it is through pheromones. But your hive mind is not contained within or represented by the leader's consciousness and then imposed upon all drones - it is an emergent property of the division of labour and integration among the colony itself. The hive mind is the consciousness of the entire colony, not of any individual unit within it.

Information integration theory proposes that consciousness emerges wherever you have a system that is simultaneously functionally specialised and integrated, so that specific modules process specific kinds of information, but the output of those modules gets integrated across the entire network.

This is how are brain works: various bits of specific regions are trained to process certain types of stimuli - like a flower or a word - but the output from these modules gets integrated across the cortex.

And that is what your hive does: drones have highly specialised tasks (structural maintenance of hive, defence, foraging, brood rearing) and they share information with each other in a highly integrated fashion (e.g. pheromones, a honeybee's waggle dance). So your hive consciousness has evolved in a context of strong cooperation, and highly specialised division of labour. I would encourage you to research honey bees and ants in order to develop your hive mind further.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, Human Hive

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