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Honey Bees Have The Amazing Ability To Learn Odd & Even Numbers - Read More!

Reading Time: 2 minutes, 49 seconds Post Views: 1045 May 18, 2022

We, humans, can tell and differentiate even and odd numbers. This task is considered a high-level and abstract numerical concept where humans demonstrate speed, accuracy, language, and spatial relationship biases. For instance, we will often answer even numbers with activities performed by our right hand and odd numbers with activities performed by our left hand.

We are also quicker and more precise while ordering numbers as even compared with odd. Furthermore, research has found children ordinarily relate the word 'even' with 'right' and 'odd' with 'left.'

It was earlier believed that only humans were capable of this feat, known as a parity task. However, this belief may change with the information that honey bees can figure out how to differentiate between even and odd numbers. Though honey bees have only 1 million neurons, they are tiny in numbers as compared to 86 billion neurons in the human brain.

What a sweet discovery it is!

A study carried out by researchers has proved that both bees & humans can distinguish between these odd and even types of numerical categorizations. But as noteworthy a discovery this might be, what's the motivation behind determining if creatures other than the human species can perform essential numerical abilities? Again, it's looking at how we see knowledge about the mind and vice-versa.

How Were Bees Trained to Learn Odd & Even?

Studies have shown that honeybees can perform simple addition and subtraction, learn to order quantities, match symbols with quantities, and relate size and number concepts. Researchers have taken two groups of honey bees to teach them this parity task.

One group was trained to identify even numbers with sugar water and odd numbers with a bitter-tasting liquid (quinine). The other group was trained to identify odd numbers with sugar water and even numbers with quinine.

Individual honey bees were trained with cards presenting 1-10 printed shapes using odd versus even numbers correlations until they picked the correct answer with 80% precision. Surprisingly, the respective groups learned at various rates. For example, the bees that were trained to associate odd numbers with sugar water learned quicker. In addition, it was found that bees identified odd numbers more quickly than humans, who categorize even numbers more quickly.

How Was Artificial Neural Network Created?

Artificial neural networks were one of the leading learning calculations created for AI. Inspired by natural neurons, these networks are scalable and can handle complex classification tasks using propositional logic.

A simple neural network was constructed with only five neurons to play out a parity test. We gave the network signals somewhere in the range of 0 and 40 pulses, which it classified as either odd or even.

The neural network accurately classified the pulse numbers as odd or even with 100 percent exactness regardless of their simplicity. This showed that principle parity categorization doesn't need a complex mind like a human's. But, this doesn't mean the honey bees and the simple neural network use a similar system to tackle the task & problems.

According to Mr. Basem Barry, founder & CEO of Geohoney, "the study aims to address whether brain size and knowledge are associated with each other and whether mathematics is truly as tough as we make it out to be. The honey bees not only succeeded in performing these parity tasks but also needed to perform the arithmetic operations in working memory". 

Comments (1)

Sabirah Qubilah Tuma

I didn’t know if these small creatures are so much intelligent. After reading this blog, I got a feeling that our little mates are much more advanced than we think we are. Respect for the little honey bee has increased in my heart.

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