Wednesday, July 12, 2023

A study shows that bees can make decisions more quickly and effectively than humans

 Bees can use their primitive brains to make quick, good decisions, according to a new study.

The humble honeybee will never be discussed enough. As pollinators and even producers of the highly nutritious and delicious honey that many species consume, they are an essential component of many ecosystems. These tiny creatures have been "engineered" over millions of years to make quick decisions that reduce risk, according to new research.

According to Macquarie University, the study, which was published yesterday in the journal eLife, not only provides a better understanding of the brains of insects, but it also has the potential to assist us in comprehending how our own brains evolved and how to develop better robots. The research paper lays out a model of how bees make decisions and the pathways in their brains that help them make quick decisions.

"Cognition is built on the ability to make decisions. It is the outcome of looking at different outcomes, and animal lives are full of choices. The brain of a honey bee is smaller than that of a sesame seed. Yet she is able to make decisions more quickly and accurately than we can. A robot modified to take care of a honey bee's business would require the reinforcement of a supercomputer," said Andrew Barron, relating creator of the review, in a press proclamation. The university has a professor named Barron.

As per Barron, this examination of the honey bees' cerebrums will assist with growing better robots that work independently. The majority of sufficiently advanced drones at the moment could be considered "brainless," as they require external commands to function. However, if the research that powers the bees' brains the size of sesame seeds could somehow be applied to drones, we might have much "smarter" drones, some of which might even be able to work independently in faraway places like Mars.

Bees need to be able to make quick decisions because they need to return to their hives quickly and avoid predators while finding nectar. As they do this, there are numerous choices they need to make, including "which bloom will have nectar?"

Twenty bees were first trained by the researchers to recognize "flower disks." Blue flowers always contained sugar syrup, whereas green flowers contained quinine, which provided the bees with a sour taste. Occasionally, the other colors contained glucose. After the bees had been trained in this manner, they were put out into a garden-like setting with just distilled water on all the flowers.

The bees landed almost immediately when they were confident that a particular flower contained food. On the off chance that they were sure that the bloom didn't have water, they took a choice similarly as fast. Each time, the decisions were made in about 0.6 seconds. However, the bees took approximately 1.4 seconds longer when they were unsure of their choices.

The researchers then developed a computer model with the intention of emulating the decision-making procedure. They discovered that the physical layout of a bee brain was very similar to the structure of the computer model.

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