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(Referência obtida automaticamente do Web of Science, por meio da informação sobre o financiamento pela FAPESP e o número do processo correspondente, incluída na publicação pelos autores.)

A Comparative Study of Relational Learning Capacity in Honeybees (Apis mellifera) and Stingless Bees (Melipona rufiventris)

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Autor(es):
Moreno, Antonio Mauricio [1, 2, 3] ; de Souza, Deisy das Gracas [2, 3] ; Reinhard, Judith [1]
Número total de Autores: 3
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Queensland, Queensland Brain Inst, Brisbane, Qld - Australia
[2] Univ Fed Sao Carlos, Dept Psicol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[3] Univ Fed Sao Carlos, Natl Inst Sci & Technol Behav Cognit & Teaching, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 3
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: PLoS One; v. 7, n. 12 DEC 10 2012.
Citações Web of Science: 23
Resumo

Background: Learning of arbitrary relations is the capacity to acquire knowledge about associations between events or stimuli that do not share any similarities, and use this knowledge to make behavioural choices. This capacity is well documented in humans and vertebrates, and there is some evidence it exists in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). However, little is known about whether the ability for relational learning extends to other invertebrates, although many insects have been shown to possess excellent learning capacities in spite of their small brains. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using a symbolic matching-to-sample procedure, we show that the honeybee Apis mellifera rapidly learns arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, reaching 68.2% correct choice for pattern-colour relations and 73.3% for colour-pattern relations. However, Apis mellifera does not transfer this knowledge to the symmetrical relations when the stimulus order is reversed. A second bee species, the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris from Brazil, seems unable to learn the same arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, although it exhibits excellent discrimination learning. Conclusions/Significance: Our results confirm that the capacity for learning arbitrary relations is not limited to vertebrates, but even insects with small brains can perform this learning task. Interestingly, it seems to be a species-specific ability. The disparity in relational learning performance between the two bee species we tested may be linked to their specific foraging and recruitment strategies, which evolved in adaptation to different environments. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 08/50576-8 - Emparelhamento com o modelo em abelhas (melipona quadrifasciata).
Beneficiário:Antonio Mauricio Moreno
Linha de fomento: Bolsas no Brasil - Doutorado
Processo FAPESP: 08/57705-8 - Instituto de Estudos sobre Comportamento, Cognição e Ensino
Beneficiário:Deisy das Graças de Souza
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Temático