Source Pravda.Ru

Bees manage to solve colour puzzles

Bees have a much more sophisticated visual system than previously thought, according to a new UCL (University College London) study in which bees were able to solve complicated colour puzzles.

The findings shed light on how brains resolve one of the most difficult challenges of vision – namely, recognizing different surfaces under different colours of illumination – by suggesting that bees solve this problem using their experience with meaningful colour relationships between objects in a scene.

In the UCL study, scientists from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology trained bumblebees to find artificial flowers of a particular colour using a nectar reward. They then tested the bees' ability to find the same flowers in scenes that were simultaneously illuminated by four differently coloured lights – UV-yellow, blue, yellow and green. To solve this puzzle, the bees had to effectively segment the scene into its different regions of illumination, and then find the correct flowers within each region.

Dr Beau Lotto of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology says: "Although we knew that bees were able to recognise flowers under different global lights, we didn't know whether they could also do this under more complicated conditions, ones that are in fact more typical in nature, such as dappled light across a woodland floor.

"When all the surfaces in a scene are under the same light, identifying a particular surface when the global illumination changes is in principle an easy problem to solve, since all vision needs to do is adapt itself to the scene's average colour, a bit like adapting to the darkness of a cinema. Far more difficult is to recognise the surface or object under multiple lights simultaneously, since adapting to the scene's average colour – which was previously thought to be the strategy used by bees – won't work."

"Our study shows that the tiny brain of the bee can not only solve this difficult task, which the most sophisticated computers still can't resolve, but suggests they do so by using the colour relationships between objects in a scene that were statistically most useful in their past experience. Because this same strategy is also used by humans, our work on bees, in conjunction with our work on humans, may enable us to understand the general principles by which any visual system (natural or artificial) can construct useful behaviour from ambiguous sensory information", Science Daily qouted Dr Lotto as saying.

V.Y.

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Comments
Russian general says allegations of his involvement in MH17 crash are stupid
Viktor Yanukovych speaks about Maidan snipers and Donbas civil war
Viktor Yanukovych speaks about Maidan snipers and Donbas civil war
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
Russian general says allegations of his involvement in MH17 crash are stupid
Russian general says allegations of his involvement in MH17 crash are stupid
Pentagon can not accept Russia's victory over terrorists in Syria
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
Israel refuses to recognise Crimea part of Ukraine
Russian general says allegations of his involvement in MH17 crash are stupid
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action