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Honeybees one of few creatures able to understand the concept of ‘zero’

By Feux Follets following x   2018 Jun 10, 8:46am 199 views   9 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

Honeybees have a very simple understanding of the concept of zero, new research suggests.

A study published in Science outlines how researchers in Australia taught bees to count symbols, and then tested whether they understood that no symbols meant fewer than one or several symbols.

First, they had to train the bees to count. To do so, Scarlett Howard of RMIT University in Melbourne and her colleagues placed sugary prizes on cards they tacked to a wall. Each card had symbols on it, and the prize was always on the card with fewer symbols.

They let the bees loose.

The bees eventually learned to associate the prize with cards that had fewer symbols, and most would fly to the sugar water immediately. Then the researchers put the prize on cards with zero symbols.

The bees chose the blank card about 65 percent of the time, a statistically significant number that suggests they have a basic understanding of the concept of zero—putting them in a small group of animals like primates, dolphins, and parrots.

What’s more, it was easier for the bees to differentiate between blank cards and ones with many symbols.

When we showed them zero versus six, they did that at a much higher level than zero versus one," Howard told NPR. "So what tells us is that they consider zero as an actual quantity along the number line. They're actually better at doing zero versus six because those two numbers are further apart."

It might seem like an easy to task to determine that nothing is less than one, but research suggests it’s not quite obvious, even for human children.

"It's easy for them to count 'one, two, three, four,' but zero, it's nothing, it's not something to count. So it's not the same category," Aurore Avargues-Weber, a CNRS researcher with the University of Toulouse, told NPR.

The concept of zero is a fairly recent discovery of mankind.

More: http://bigthink.com/stephen-johnson/study-honeybees-one-of-the-few-animals-to-grasp-the-idea-of-zero

#Bees #Zero #BrainProcessing

1   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 10, 10:38am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Honeybees one of few creatures able to understand the concept of ‘zero’

Very interesting experiment. My guess, bees don't learn to count or understand the concept of zero. They have an innate ability to differentiate objects, and to quickly determine which objects have the most sugar. The cards are just objects.
2   HEYYOU   ignore (13)   2018 Jun 10, 10:51am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Rep/Cons don't understand negative numbers.
They increase debt,paper over it with fiat currency.
Dazzlingly brilliant .
3   Allin   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 10, 11:30am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Bees can’t count. They are associating proportion of dark space to white space. There is no need to actually count the marks.
4   Automan Empire   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 10, 11:31am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

"The concept of zero is a fairly recent discovery of mankind."

This becomes obvious when you work with the public. An illustration:


A man walks into the local ice cream parlor and tells the attendant he wants a gallon of vanilla, a gallon of strawberry and a gallon of chocolate ice cream.

"Sorry" says the attendant, "we're all out of chocolate ice cream."

"In that case" says the man, "I'll have a pint of vanilla, a pint of strawberry and a pint of chocolate."

"I told you we don't have any chocolate ice cream, buddy" says the attendant, becoming slightly annoyed.

"OK, in that case" says the man, "I'll have a scoop of vanilla, a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of chocolate."

"Look, mister, what does the V-A-N in vanilla spell?"

"Van" he replies, "But what does that have to do with ice cream?"

"Never mind, what does the S-T-R-A-W in strawberry spell?"

"Straw" he answers, "But I still don't understand what this has got to do with my getting the ice cream I want?"

"What does the F-U-C-K in chocolate spell?" asks the attendant.

"Wait a minute" says the man, "there's no fuck in chocolate!"

"That's what I've been trying to tell you, dick brain, now get out of my store."
5   Automan Empire   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 10, 11:35am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Joking aside, interesting study and thanks for posting it.
6   Patrick   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 10, 12:53pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I remember a similar one a few years ago which showed that those nasty picnic wasps can be taught to read triangles vs squares, or something like that. Put up triangles and food, or put up squares and no food. They quickly figure out to look for food when the triangles are up.
7   BlueSardine   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 10, 8:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Can honey bees throats be selfserviced???
8   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2018 Jun 11, 5:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I tried to perform that test but it failed. It seems I was using spelling Bees.
9   everything   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 11, 12:57pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I absolutely love watching bees navigate from flower to flower, it's just such a beautiful thing to watch.

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