Shape vision in bees: innate preference for flower-like patterns

Lehrer, M. ; Horridge, G. A. ; Zhang, S. W. ; Gadagkar, R. (1995) Shape vision in bees: innate preference for flower-like patterns Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 347 (1320). pp. 123-137. ISSN 0962-8436

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The bees' spontaneous preferences toward various black-and-white patterns were studied using a multiple-choice test procedure. The patterns are presented on vertical planes, and the bees' choices at a fixed distance from the patterns are recorded. To exclude a possible influence of the bees' previous experience with natural flowers, the bees are trained to randomized checkerboard patterns prior to testing them with sets of other patterns. We find that, when the test patterns are of the same kind, but differ in their spatial frequencies, the bees prefer low over high frequencies. However, when the patterns differ in type, the bees express, regardless of spatial frequency, a positive preference for patterns containing radiating elements, and a negative preference for patterns containing circular elements or elements arranged at random. We find, in addition, that symmetrical patterns are more attractive than less symmetrical or non-symmetrical patterns. We propose that bees respond innately to some features of natural flowers, resulting in a spontaneous preference for radiating, as well as symmetrical patterns.

Item Type:Article
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ID Code:75460
Deposited On:23 Dec 2011 06:54
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