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Bees can count using only four brain cells

Bees can count upwards of five and can be trained to select the smaller or larger of two values. Bees can even choose the value of zero, when trained to select the lesser of two quantities.

BROOKS HAYS: ‘New research reveals how bees count using minimal brain power. To better understand bees’ mathematic abilities, scientists designed a simple brain model on the computer, featuring just four nerve cells. Simulations showed the simple brain was capable of counting small quantities by closely studying one item at a time. Previous studies suggest bees count the same way. Meanwhile, humans look at the whole group of items and count them together.

In lab experiments, bees can count upwards of five and can be trained to select the smaller or larger of two values. Bees can even choose the value of zero, when trained to select the lesser of two quantities. The latest research suggests bees don’t need to understand complex math to achieve these feats of quantitative comparison. By conducting intimate flybys of one item at a time, they can make comparisons using minimal brain power’. SOURCE…

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