Swarms Of Bees Can Break The Chain Of Mysteries Of The Human Brain

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Though most of the brain’s structures and processes have already been determined, there are still some mechanisms that are shady and need more light to make the picture crystal clear.  Studies have already been continuously conducted to have thorough understanding of the human brain. Who would have thought that the human brain can be likened to a swarm of bees, in one way or another?

The scientists from the University of Sheffield believe that the process employed by bees in selecting new nest sites can clarify the underlying decision making mechanisms of the human brain. Even way back, significant commonalities have already been discovered in the decision-making systems of humans and insects. However, currently, the investigators deem the bees essential in understanding how the human brains work.

Experts stated that insects seem to have solved indecision which is a paralyzing thought process often experienced by humans. They observed that there are scouts who seek out honeybees that advertise rival nest sites, as well as butt against them using their heads and producing shrill beeping sounds. Furthermore, Dr. James Marshall (from the University Sheffield’s Computer Science Department) elaborated that they continue to ask up to this moment if the bee colonies actually work in a similar way with human brains. Moreover, with the new mathematical modeling they initiated, it appears that we need to ask ourselves if our brain work similarly like honeybee colonies.

Dr. Marshall further added the findings from their research that was published in the journal Science on December 9. He explained that more than the waggle dances that bees utilize in directing hive mates towards rich flower patches and new nest sites, honeybees also inhibit the waggle dances of bees advertising rival nest sites. The findings of the biologists from Cornell University, University of California Riverside and University of Bristol supported the above statements.

Moreover, Tom Seeley of Cornell University, author of the best-selling book Honeybee Democracy, emphasized the “stop signal”, which was the rough treatment they observed from a honeybee against another performing waggle dances for another nest box. They named this behavior as such because many bees receiving this signal will halt dancing a few seconds after.

Importantly, Dr. Patrick Hogan (from the University of Sheffield), who was responsible in constructing the mathematical model of bees, cited that the bees direct their stop signal only at their rivals within the colony; thus, this will avoid indecision in the context of new home selection among the colony as a whole. In addition, the notable attitude of these bees was naturally derived from the simple interactions among individual bees in the colony. Indeed, another mystery of the brain—decision-making mechanism– was given light in this study.




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