Bees Master Abstract Concepts
An insect's brain is capable of constructing and handling abstract concepts. It can even use two different concepts simultaneously in order to make a decision when faced with a new situation. This unexpected result was obtained by Professor Martin Giurfa and his team at the Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale (CNRS/Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier).
While it was previously thought that only humans and some primates were capable of such sophisticated cognitive analysis, these findings demonstrate that the absence of language and a tiny neural architecture do not hinder this ability. The team's work, published in the journal PNAS, calls into question many theories in fields such as animal cognition, human psychology, neurosciences and artificial intelligence.
Read more within the original publication:
Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Adrian G. Dyer, Maud Combe et Martin Giurfa: Simultaneous mastering of two abstract concepts by the miniature brain of bees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on line on 19 April 2012