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  • TalkRational: I guess I subconsciously just wanted to comment on some shit.

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Topics - Spode

1
Bees, motherfucker.
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By rewarding the bees with food, the team trained one group to fly toward displays with higher quantities of black shapes, while a second group was given food for flying toward placards with fewer shapes. Once the "lesser than" bees figured out that they got treats for landing under displays with the smallest value, Howard's team introduced a blank white display.

The bees understood that this card represented zero, and that its value was lower than one, with greater than 80% accuracy. It also proved more difficult for them to distinguish zero from lower numbers, like one or two, than it was for them to pick it out from numbers like four, five, or six. This phenomenon, called the "numerical-distance effect," has been observed in children and primates, and suggests that bees interpret numbers as part of a continuum.

Similar experiments have shown that dolphins and parrots understand the concept of zero. But given that bees have only about one million neurons in their brains, compared to 86 billion in humans, it's especially impressive that they are such sophisticated mathletes.