Saturday, January 8, 2011

Physics News: Scientists Researching the Memory of Bees

Honeybees can remember the scent of flowers they visit by allocating memory types differ in their small brains, the researchers suspected.

Professor Lesley Rogers from the University of New England in Armidale, Australia, and Professor Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trento in Italy this week to report their findings to the journal Plo ONE.

The researchers showed that the bee brain is divided into two parts with different functions in this case reminds us of the human brain.
In their study, Rogers and Vallortigara trained bees to recognize a pleasant sweet taste with lemon flavor and an unpleasant salty taste with the aroma of vanilla.

After the bees were trained to ignore their trunks when the scent of lemon, but not when they smell the aroma of vanilla, researchers tried what happens to the memory of bees when one of their antenna is not working.

Rogers and Vallortigara close to the left or right antenna with a material that essentially bees from the sap to stop detect odors.

"When we asked for the bees to recall the left antenna is closed, the bees can well remember the memory of two scents for about three hours, but after that not so good," said Rogers.  "On the other hand, if we close the right antenna and the test bees for MAGs, not very good initially, but after six hours of bees can recall”.

The same pattern was true when the researchers gave the perfume on the left or the right side of the bee, without closing one of the antennae.

Short Term and Long Term Memory
The results of this experiment assumed that the right antenna and the relationship of brain structure forms the basis for short-term and temporary memory, while the left antenna supports for long-term memory.

"When compared with humans and other large animals, bee brains is very simple," says Rogers.  "But the bee brain that can do simple things very complex.  Bees can learn great things that we never thought possible before, "he said.  "Clearly, the antenna is very efficient for the brain of bee”.

Until the mid tahun1970, scientists thought only humans who have brains that split in two with different rules.  Since then, the researchers show that all vertebrate animals have two parts of their brain structure.  And recently, in insects, like bees, also has a brain that has a division which is divided into two parts function.

"Here there may be something very fundamental about the different control functions to the right and left and causes of differences in memory formation," said Rogers.