Document Detail

Evidence for counting in insects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18504627     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Here we investigate the counting ability in honeybees by training them to receive a food reward after they have passed a specific number of landmarks. The distance to the food reward is varied frequently and randomly, whilst keeping the number of intervening landmarks constant. Thus, the bees cannot identify the food reward in terms of its distance from the hive. We find that bees can count up to four objects, when they are encountered sequentially during flight. Furthermore, bees trained in this way are able count novel objects, which they have never previously encountered, thus demonstrating that they are capable of object-independent counting. A further experiment reveals that the counting ability that the bees display in our experiments is primarily sequential in nature. It appears that bees can navigate to food sources by maintaining a running count of prominent landmarks that are passed en route, provided this number does not exceed four.
Marie Dacke; Mandyam V Srinivasan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-05-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Animal cognition     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1435-9456     ISO Abbreviation:  Anim Cogn     Publication Date:  2008 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-09-09     Completed Date:  2009-02-17     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814573     Medline TA:  Anim Cogn     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  683-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Concept Formation*
Discrimination Learning*
Mathematical Concepts
Recognition (Psychology)*
Serial Learning*
Space Perception
Spatial Behavior

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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