Oddity learning in honeybees (Apis mellifera)

Muszynski, Nicole Marie
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
The aim of this work is to determine whether honeybees are able to solve an oddity learning task using a simultaneous oddity procedure. Four experiments are described here. Previous pilot work on the oddity problem in this laboratory with honeybees using the traditional simultaneous procedure produced mixed results (Personal communication with P.A. Couvillon: Couvillon, unpublished). The current work differs from the previous work in that new stimuli were used. The new stimuli are composed of two-color compounds in a pinwheel arrangement, or six alternating color wedges, on a Petri dish. These were developed to increase the salience of the stimuli and to better promote attention by the bees. The bees successfully discriminated pairs of the 2 two-colored stimuli in a two-choice procedure, and they did so readily whether the pairs had one color in common or no color in common. It seemed reasonable, then, to use the new stimuli in oddity studies. In Experiment 1, honeybees were trained in an oddity problem using one odd and two identical nonodd colored Petri dishes. Bees were rewarded with sucrose solution for choosing the odd stimulus. In Experiment 2, honeybees again were trained with the colored Petri dish stimuli and were given an oddity problem using a trial-unique method, different stimuli on each trial. In Experiment 3, honeybees also were trained on an oddity problem using the trial-unique method of Experiment 2. However, the stimuli of Experiment 3 were displayed on a computer monitor. In Experiment 4, the stimuli were also presented on a computer monitor, but the bees were required to choose the nonodd stimulus.
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
learning, honeybees, concepts, invertebrates, oddity
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