Honeybees can recognise images of complex natural scenes for use as potential landmarks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to navigate long distances to find rewarding flowers and return home is a key factor in the survival of honeybees (Apis mellifera). To reliably perform this task, bees combine both odometric and landmark cues, which potentially creates a dilemma since environments rich in odometric cues might be poor in salient landmark cues, and vice versa. In the present study, honeybees were provided with differential conditioning to images of complex natural scenes, in order to determine if they could reliably learn to discriminate between very similar scenes, and to recognise a learnt scene from a novel distractor scene. Choices made by individual bees were modelled with signal detection theory, and bees demonstrated an ability to discriminate between perceptually similar target and distractor views despite similar spatiotemporal content of the images. In a non-rewarded transfer test bees were also able to recognise target stimuli from novel distractors. These findings indicate that visual processing in bees is sufficiently accurate for recognising views of complex scenery as potential landmarks, which would enable bees flying in a forest to use trees both as landmark and/or odometric cues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180 - 1186
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume211
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cite this

@article{531a8e2a32dc49f38f9e3ef1aa0cb0a2,
title = "Honeybees can recognise images of complex natural scenes for use as potential landmarks",
abstract = "The ability to navigate long distances to find rewarding flowers and return home is a key factor in the survival of honeybees (Apis mellifera). To reliably perform this task, bees combine both odometric and landmark cues, which potentially creates a dilemma since environments rich in odometric cues might be poor in salient landmark cues, and vice versa. In the present study, honeybees were provided with differential conditioning to images of complex natural scenes, in order to determine if they could reliably learn to discriminate between very similar scenes, and to recognise a learnt scene from a novel distractor scene. Choices made by individual bees were modelled with signal detection theory, and bees demonstrated an ability to discriminate between perceptually similar target and distractor views despite similar spatiotemporal content of the images. In a non-rewarded transfer test bees were also able to recognise target stimuli from novel distractors. These findings indicate that visual processing in bees is sufficiently accurate for recognising views of complex scenery as potential landmarks, which would enable bees flying in a forest to use trees both as landmark and/or odometric cues.",
author = "Dyer, {Adrian Geoffrey} and Rosa, {Marcello Goncalves} and Reser, {David Henry}",
year = "2008",
language = "English",
volume = "211",
pages = "1180 -- 1186",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Biology",
issn = "0022-0949",
publisher = "The Company of Biologists Ltd",
number = "8",

}

Honeybees can recognise images of complex natural scenes for use as potential landmarks. / Dyer, Adrian Geoffrey; Rosa, Marcello Goncalves; Reser, David Henry.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 211, No. 8, 2008, p. 1180 - 1186.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Honeybees can recognise images of complex natural scenes for use as potential landmarks

AU - Dyer, Adrian Geoffrey

AU - Rosa, Marcello Goncalves

AU - Reser, David Henry

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - The ability to navigate long distances to find rewarding flowers and return home is a key factor in the survival of honeybees (Apis mellifera). To reliably perform this task, bees combine both odometric and landmark cues, which potentially creates a dilemma since environments rich in odometric cues might be poor in salient landmark cues, and vice versa. In the present study, honeybees were provided with differential conditioning to images of complex natural scenes, in order to determine if they could reliably learn to discriminate between very similar scenes, and to recognise a learnt scene from a novel distractor scene. Choices made by individual bees were modelled with signal detection theory, and bees demonstrated an ability to discriminate between perceptually similar target and distractor views despite similar spatiotemporal content of the images. In a non-rewarded transfer test bees were also able to recognise target stimuli from novel distractors. These findings indicate that visual processing in bees is sufficiently accurate for recognising views of complex scenery as potential landmarks, which would enable bees flying in a forest to use trees both as landmark and/or odometric cues.

AB - The ability to navigate long distances to find rewarding flowers and return home is a key factor in the survival of honeybees (Apis mellifera). To reliably perform this task, bees combine both odometric and landmark cues, which potentially creates a dilemma since environments rich in odometric cues might be poor in salient landmark cues, and vice versa. In the present study, honeybees were provided with differential conditioning to images of complex natural scenes, in order to determine if they could reliably learn to discriminate between very similar scenes, and to recognise a learnt scene from a novel distractor scene. Choices made by individual bees were modelled with signal detection theory, and bees demonstrated an ability to discriminate between perceptually similar target and distractor views despite similar spatiotemporal content of the images. In a non-rewarded transfer test bees were also able to recognise target stimuli from novel distractors. These findings indicate that visual processing in bees is sufficiently accurate for recognising views of complex scenery as potential landmarks, which would enable bees flying in a forest to use trees both as landmark and/or odometric cues.

UR - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=18375842

M3 - Article

VL - 211

SP - 1180

EP - 1186

JO - Journal of Experimental Biology

JF - Journal of Experimental Biology

SN - 0022-0949

IS - 8

ER -