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Thread: Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning

  1. #1
    Real American™ nam's Avatar
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    Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning

    Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning
    February 23, 2017
    Queen Mary University of London
    Science Daily

    Summary: Bumble bees can be taught to score goals using mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities.

    Their study, published in the journal Science
    , suggests that species whose lifestyle demands advanced learning abilities could learn entirely new behaviours if there is ecological pressure.

    Project supervisor and co-author Professor Lars Chittka from QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said: "Our study puts the final nail in the coffin of the idea that small brains constrain insects to have limited behavioural flexibility and only simple learning abilities."

    Previous research has shown that bumblebees could solve a range of cognitive tasks, but these have so far resembled tasks similar to the bees' natural foraging routines, such as pulling strings to obtain food.

    This study examines bees' behavioral flexibility to carry out tasks that are not naturally encountered by the insects.

    "We wanted to explore the cognitive limits of bumblebees by testing whether they could use a non-natural object in a task likely never encountered before by any individual in the evolutionary history of bees," said Dr Clint Perry, joint lead author and also from QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

    The experiment required the bees to move a ball to a specified location to obtain a reward of food. The insects were first trained to know the correct location of the ball on a platform. Subsequently, to obtain their reward, the bees had to move a displaced ball to the specified location.

    Full story at link above.
    If you are not willing to fall flat on your face, then the only thing you will have is a pretty face.

  2. #2
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    Absolutely incredible.

  3. #3
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    That really is incredible!

  4. #4
    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    So cool!!

  5. #5
    Premier Sponsor Jasmine's Avatar
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    Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!!! Gooaalll, Beitar! Goal!

    Well, damn, there IS a strong resemblance!
    "Life is about dreams. Teaching is about making them come true."

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