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Science. 2018 Jun 8;360(6393):1124-1126. doi: 10.1126/science.aar4975.

Numerical ordering of zero in honey bees.

Author information

1
Bio-inspired Digital Sensing (BIDS) Lab, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
2
Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale, Centre de Biologie Intégrative (CBI), Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Toulouse, France.
3
ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
4
Bio-inspired Digital Sensing (BIDS) Lab, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. adrian.dyer@rmit.edu.au.
5
Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

Some vertebrates demonstrate complex numerosity concepts-including addition, sequential ordering of numbers, or even the concept of zero-but whether an insect can develop an understanding for such concepts remains unknown. We trained individual honey bees to the numerical concepts of "greater than" or "less than" using stimuli containing one to six elemental features. Bees could subsequently extrapolate the concept of less than to order zero numerosity at the lower end of the numerical continuum. Bees demonstrated an understanding that parallels animals such as the African grey parrot, nonhuman primates, and even preschool children.

Comment in

PMID:
29880690
DOI:
10.1126/science.aar4975
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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