The right and left antenna provided ants memory of different duration

From red wood ant (Formica rufa) found lateralization of memory that is reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The relationship between the subject of the blue color (conditioned stimulus) and sweet food (reinforcement) they could recall 24 hours after training, if reinforcements showed left antenna, and in 10 minutes — an hour if reinforcements had brought the right antenna. These time frames correspond to the long-term and short-term memory. This is one of the first studies of the phenomenon in insects: usually the dependence of the parameters of the memory from which parties have to present the stimuli studied in vertebrates.

The brain has bilateral symmetry, but half of it still vary in structure and functions. Among people there are righties and lefties (movements of the right hand controls the left hemisphere, left — right), and the speech centers are usually located in the left hemisphere (the same areas of cortex in the right hemisphere performs a few other functions). This is only the most obvious examples. The phenomenon of when the body performs some actions of some of the sides of the body more often than the other is called lateralization or asymmetry of behavior. For a long time it was believed that it is characteristic only for humans, but in recent decades there has been a lot of information about what the behavior of many other animals too asymmetrically. Often lateralization behavior study on vertebrates, as on the average their reactions are more complex than in invertebrates, and plan the structure of their nervous systems the same as humans.

However, among the invertebrates, too, there are types with a rich repertoire of behavioral responses, developed memory and rational activity. Among them are the social insects — bees and ants. They are able to quickly learn the various conditioned reflexes, and one of these reflexes is a manifestation of feeding behavior in response to the presentation of the object is blue, decided to develop the working individuals in red wood ants (Formica rufa) employees of the University of Sussex Anna Sofia David Fernandes (A. Fernandes Sofia David) and Jeremy Niven (Jeremy E. Niven).

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