Wasps Are Capable Of Logic, Recognizing Faces, And Socializing Based On Memories

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, May 16, 2019.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    16,495
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA / Europe
    Every time I look at the title for this post I can’t help but think – so, how are wasps different from us humans? I think the answer is – not much, if at all. And this is pretty much what the study below argues, adding yet another piece to an already sizeable mountain of evidence showing that the size of the nervous system may not be a limiting factor for intelligence, and our large brains are really just that – larger – but not necessarily more capable than other living organisms’. It reminds of Peat’s writing on spiders, bees, and even bacteria, all of which exhibit remarkably intelligent behavior when placed in an optimal environment.

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0015
    Paper wasps capable of behavior that resembles logical reasoning

    “…A new University of Michigan study provides the first evidence of transitive inference, the ability to use known relationships to infer unknown relationships, in a nonvertebrate animal: the lowly paper wasp. For millennia, transitive inference was considered a hallmark of human deductive powers, a form of logical reasoning used to make inferences: If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C. But in recent decades, vertebrate animals including monkeys, birds and fish have demonstrated the ability to use transitive inference.”

    “…Paper wasps have a nervous system roughly the same size—about one million neurons—as honeybees, but they exhibit a type complex social behavior not seen in honeybee colonies. University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts wondered if paper wasps’ social skills could enable them to succeed where honeybees had failed. To find out, Tibbetts and her colleagues tested whether two common species of paper wasp, Polistes dominula and Polistes metricus, could solve a transitive inference problem. The team’s findings were published online May 8 in the journal Biology Letters. “This study adds to a growing body of evidence that the miniature nervous systems of insects do not limit sophisticated behaviors,” said Tibbetts, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. “We’re not saying that wasps used logical deduction to solve this problem, but they seem to use known relationships to make inferences about unknown relationships,” Tibbetts said. “Our findings suggest that the capacity for complex behavior may be shaped by the social environment in which behaviors are beneficial, rather than being strictly limited by brain size.”

    “…For millennia, transitive inference was regarded as a hallmark of human cognition and was thought to be based on logical deduction. More recently, some researchers have questioned whether TI requires higher-order reasoning or can be solved with simpler rules. The study by Tibbetts and her colleagues illustrates that paper wasps can build and manipulate an implicit hierarchy. But it makes no claims about the precise mechanisms that underlie this ability. In previous studies, Tibbetts and her colleagues showed that paper wasps recognize individuals of their species by variations in their facial markings and that they behave more aggressively toward wasps with unfamiliar faces. The researchers have also demonstrated that paper wasps have surprisingly long memories and base their behavior on what they remember of previous social interactions with other wasps.”
     
  2. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Messages:
    6,238
    This is absolutely game changing. Thank you @haidut

    I am starting a book that says we are consciousness on top of matter, not matter making consciousness. The “miniature” nervous system of the wasp seems incredible if you think consciousness is built on top of matter, but maybe we are wrong.
     
  3. Spokey

    Spokey Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    298
    What's wasp for "Stay away from my coke" ?
     
  4. LeeLemonoil

    LeeLemonoil Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,183
    Gender:
    Male

    Or it hints at the incomprehensible potential that loads of matter and energy has when even tiny insect nervous systems are so capable.
    Confucius clusters of matter spread throughout the universe... that’s so Star Trek
     
  5. Sheik

    Sheik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    I am still in favor of making them extinct.
     
  6. Spokey

    Spokey Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    298
    Haha!

    I rescued a drowning wasp from a puddle once and it made me very popular with my best mate's sister. Be nice to wasps, get girls.
     
  7. kitback

    kitback Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    39
    Not long after I moved to the south, I had my first encounter with a bald-faced hornet. They are scary looking, fast, and mean. In April I noticed a queen bald-faced hornet was building a nest under the eaves of the roof in the back of my house. She had only been at it for a couple of days so it was quite small. Since there was only a queen at that point, I decided it would be safe to knock it down with my spray hose. I had studied her movements and observed that she would leave the nest for at least five minutes or more before returning so right after she left I came out and started spraying the nest with the hose. Even though it was little, it was really stuck on there and it took longer than expected to knock it down. Just as it was coming down, the queen started buzzing me. Apparently she realized something was amiss and came back early. Luckily I could use the hose as a weapon and was able to make it into the garage without getting stung.

    I made it a point to wait at least four hours before going out of the house again. I had to do some grocery shopping. As I said, the nest was in the back of my house so you can imagine my surprise when I went out the front door of my house 4 hours later and that hornet zoomed right at me and start buzzing me very aggressively, I RAN back into the house and managed not to get stung.

    I had NO idea that hornets had that kind of memory and identification ability, not to mention such a strong desire for revenge! Lesson learned!!
     
  8. LeeLemonoil

    LeeLemonoil Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,183
    Gender:
    Male
    I for one welcome our new bald-faced hornet overlords. Long live the hornet-queen!
     
  9. Literally

    Literally Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    244
    Gender:
    Male
    When I was a kid I was visiting my brother at college. I noticed a large wasp just sitting on the cobblestone street -- it was fall, so maybe time for wasps to be a bit sluggish. When I pointed at it -- maybe 5 feet away and said, "look, a wasp," it flew directly at me and stung me on the eye. After the fact I looked it up, and yep... wasps target eyeballs.
     
Loading...