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Visually guided decision making in foraging honeybees.

Zhang S, Si A, Pahl M - Front Neurosci (2012)

Bottom Line: The trained animals learn how to solve a task, and do so with a high accuracy, but when they are presented with a new variation of the task, they apply the learnt rules from the earlier setup to the new situation, and solve the new task as well.Honeybees therefore not only feature a rich behavioral repertoire to choose from, but also make decisions most apt to the current situation.The experiments in this review give an insight into the environmental cues and cognitive resources that are probably highly significant for a forager bee that must continually make decisions regarding patches of resources to be exploited.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre of Excellence in Vision Science, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University Canberra, ACT, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Honeybees can easily be trained to perform different types of discrimination tasks under controlled laboratory conditions. This review describes a range of experiments carried out with free-flying forager honeybees under such conditions. The research done over the past 30 or so years suggests that cognitive abilities (learning and perception) in insects are more intricate and flexible than was originally imagined. It has become apparent that honeybees are capable of a variety of visually guided tasks, involving decision making under challenging situations: this includes simultaneously making use of different sensory modalities, such as vision and olfaction, and learning to use abstract concepts such as "sameness" and "difference." Many studies have shown that decision making in foraging honeybees is highly flexible. The trained animals learn how to solve a task, and do so with a high accuracy, but when they are presented with a new variation of the task, they apply the learnt rules from the earlier setup to the new situation, and solve the new task as well. Honeybees therefore not only feature a rich behavioral repertoire to choose from, but also make decisions most apt to the current situation. The experiments in this review give an insight into the environmental cues and cognitive resources that are probably highly significant for a forager bee that must continually make decisions regarding patches of resources to be exploited.

No MeSH data available.


A familiar, but camouflaged object (readers experiencing difficulty in recognizing the Dalmatian dog may wish to view the picture upside-down). Photo courtesy R. C. James. Reprinted from Lindsay and Norman (1977), with permission of authors and publishers.
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Figure 1: A familiar, but camouflaged object (readers experiencing difficulty in recognizing the Dalmatian dog may wish to view the picture upside-down). Photo courtesy R. C. James. Reprinted from Lindsay and Norman (1977), with permission of authors and publishers.

Mentions: It is well-known that prior knowledge or experience aids us tremendously in uncovering objects that are poorly visible, partially hidden, or camouflaged. Many of us who view the scene in Figure 1 for the first time would not see a familiar object, especially if we are unaware of the picture’s content. Once the camouflaged Dalmatian has been discovered, however, it is detected and recognized instantly every time the picture is re-encountered. Evidently, prior experience or knowledge aids the visual system significantly in the task of uncovering objects (Lindsay and Norman, 1977; Goldstein, 1989; Cavanagh, 1991).


Visually guided decision making in foraging honeybees.

Zhang S, Si A, Pahl M - Front Neurosci (2012)

A familiar, but camouflaged object (readers experiencing difficulty in recognizing the Dalmatian dog may wish to view the picture upside-down). Photo courtesy R. C. James. Reprinted from Lindsay and Norman (1977), with permission of authors and publishers.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3376410&req=5

Figure 1: A familiar, but camouflaged object (readers experiencing difficulty in recognizing the Dalmatian dog may wish to view the picture upside-down). Photo courtesy R. C. James. Reprinted from Lindsay and Norman (1977), with permission of authors and publishers.
Mentions: It is well-known that prior knowledge or experience aids us tremendously in uncovering objects that are poorly visible, partially hidden, or camouflaged. Many of us who view the scene in Figure 1 for the first time would not see a familiar object, especially if we are unaware of the picture’s content. Once the camouflaged Dalmatian has been discovered, however, it is detected and recognized instantly every time the picture is re-encountered. Evidently, prior experience or knowledge aids the visual system significantly in the task of uncovering objects (Lindsay and Norman, 1977; Goldstein, 1989; Cavanagh, 1991).

Bottom Line: The trained animals learn how to solve a task, and do so with a high accuracy, but when they are presented with a new variation of the task, they apply the learnt rules from the earlier setup to the new situation, and solve the new task as well.Honeybees therefore not only feature a rich behavioral repertoire to choose from, but also make decisions most apt to the current situation.The experiments in this review give an insight into the environmental cues and cognitive resources that are probably highly significant for a forager bee that must continually make decisions regarding patches of resources to be exploited.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre of Excellence in Vision Science, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University Canberra, ACT, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Honeybees can easily be trained to perform different types of discrimination tasks under controlled laboratory conditions. This review describes a range of experiments carried out with free-flying forager honeybees under such conditions. The research done over the past 30 or so years suggests that cognitive abilities (learning and perception) in insects are more intricate and flexible than was originally imagined. It has become apparent that honeybees are capable of a variety of visually guided tasks, involving decision making under challenging situations: this includes simultaneously making use of different sensory modalities, such as vision and olfaction, and learning to use abstract concepts such as "sameness" and "difference." Many studies have shown that decision making in foraging honeybees is highly flexible. The trained animals learn how to solve a task, and do so with a high accuracy, but when they are presented with a new variation of the task, they apply the learnt rules from the earlier setup to the new situation, and solve the new task as well. Honeybees therefore not only feature a rich behavioral repertoire to choose from, but also make decisions most apt to the current situation. The experiments in this review give an insight into the environmental cues and cognitive resources that are probably highly significant for a forager bee that must continually make decisions regarding patches of resources to be exploited.

No MeSH data available.