Evidence for counting in insects

Dacke, Marie and Srinivasan, Mandyam V. (2008) Evidence for counting in insects. Animal Cognition, 11 4: 683-689. doi:10.1007/s10071-008-0159-y

Author Dacke, Marie
Srinivasan, Mandyam V.
Title Evidence for counting in insects
Journal name Animal Cognition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1435-9448
Publication date 2008-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10071-008-0159-y
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 683
End page 689
Total pages 7
Editor Tatiana Czeschlik
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject C1
170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Abstract 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.
Keyword Counting
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 90 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 102 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 11 Mar 2009, 01:52:12 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute