Science Honeybees That Solve Math Problems Challenge Supremacy of Human Brains

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Honeybees may have sesame seed-sized brains, but they’re way smarter than scientists suspected. Stunning new research shows they can even do simple math, suggesting that our bigger brains aren’t necessarily better or especially unique.

    In the paper, published Wednesday in Science Advances, researchers described how they used color-coded shapes to train 14 honeybees to do simple arithmetic, as the video above details. When presented with a math problem and two possible solutions (one correct, one incorrect), these trained bees chose the correct option between 63.6 and 72.1 percent of the time — significantly more often than if they just chose at random.

    This development calls the relationship between brain size and intelligence into further question, and it even makes scientists question whether math is really as “difficult” as we think.

    “In the current study, the bees not only succeeded in performing these processing tasks but also had to perform the arithmetic operations in working memory,” write the study’s authors, led by Scarlett Howard, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research who conducted the research as a Ph.D. student at RMIT University in Australia. Howard was also the first author of a 2018 study showing that honeybees grasp the abstract mathematical concept of zero.

    Read more here. (Inverse)

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