Wasps are the first invertebrates to Pass Reasoning Test ~ helpBIOTECH

12 May 2019

Wasps are the first invertebrates to Pass Reasoning Test


The reasoning test : if you know that A is bigger than B, and B is bigger than C, then you can reason that A is bigger than C. 

Elizabeth Tibbetts at the University of Michigan and her team put 40 paper wasps individually into a shallow rectangular container. These had a different colour at each end, and five colours were used in total, each corresponding to a letter from A to E. 

In any combination, the colour that was linked to the later letter in the alphabet was rigged to give wasps an electric shock if they stood on it. 

The wasps were first trained on letters that were adjacent to each other – A/B, B/C, C/D, and D/E. After 10 trials, they were then tested on pairs B/D and A/E, meaning they would have to use logic to avoid getting a shock. 

Overall, 65 per cent of the wasps managed to correctly choose B over D, which is better than chance. They also chose A over E at around the same rate, but since A was always free of shocks and E always delivered them, that may be less significant, says Tibbetts.

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