Facial Recognition of Northern Paper Wasps

Polistes fuscatus, a species of paper wasp, that is excellent at facial recognition. (Picture from: http://arstechnica.com/)
Wasp brain was small, less than a millionth times the size of the human brain. But, in the affairs of face recognition, the ability of wasps as well as humans. These insects have developed a special ability to recognize faces that are analogous to systems used by humans.
This unique capability is expressed by a wasp evolutionary biologist the University of Michigan who conducted the research with graduate students. "Wasps and humans are independently developed specifically face recognition mechanisms are similar, even though everything about the way we look and how our brains are very differently arranged," said Michael Sheehan, a member of face recognition research team led by evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts. "It was very surprising and strange."

Sheehan said what he did was study the insect was first discovered by visual observation level specific as that. In previous research, Tibbetts showed that the northern paper wasp or Polistes fuscatus of this type can recognize individuals of their species through variations in the pattern of face signs. Wasp also behave more aggressively toward wasps with a face that they did not recognize.

This new study is a continuation of previous research Sheehan and Tibbetts, which was published in the journal Current Biology in 2008. In research, they showed that the wasp measuring nearly 2 inches is proved to have extraordinary memory length and act according to what they remember about their social interactions with other wasps before.
Polistes fuscatus or Northern paper wasps have extremely variable facial patterns that they use to recognize each other as individuals. This montage displays some of the variation seen in female paper wasp faces in this species. (Picture from: http://www.eurekalert.org/)
In the latest study, Sheehan and Tibbetts test this learning process by training bees to distinguish two separate images are mounted in a T-shaped maze, with each image is placed at both ends of the sleeve T.

They trained 12 bees to perform 40 experiments on each type of face constantly. Face image that is displayed in pairs, it was a picture of the face normal paper wasp, caterpillar pictures, simple geometric patterns, and facial wasps that have been modified using a computer. Gifts of food are consistently associated with one of the images from both image pairs.
The image used in the experiments Facial Recognition of Paper Wasp. (Picture from: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/)
Researchers found that the paper wasps, which is the caterpillar predators, capable of distinguishing the two faces of P. fuscatus faster and more accurate than a pair of caterpillar photos, two different geometric patterns, or a pair of face images of wasps that have been altered using a computer. They learn to choose the face of wasps that have not changed with the right about three quarters of the time.

Two black and white geometric pattern that is simple should be easily distinguished by the wasps, because the compound eyes of insects that can detect the contrast and profile well, Sheehan said. But wasps can actually learn faster image of the face is more complicated than a geometric pattern.

But even the slightest change in facial image wasps, such as the loss of a wasp antennae removed using photo editing program, will make the subject of the experiment was to lose its ability to test facial recognition.

"This suggests that the way they learn different face to the way they learn other patterns," said Sheehan. "They treat the face as something different."

Face recognition system developed northern paper wasp is analogous to a special ability of the human studying face. "But it should be noted that we do not claim that the wasps learn exactly the same as the human face," he said.

The ability to recognize individuals is essential for species such as P. fuscatus, who lives in a nest inhabited by multiple queens together. Wasps in the community working together in the breeding of queen bees, also compete to form a linear dominance hierarchy. The ability to remember who they serve and have served to prevent the worker wasps waste energy to repeatedly face confrontation and increase the stability of the colony by reducing friction with each other.
Like humans, Polistes fuscatus or Northern paper wasps recognize individuals by their unique facial patterns. This photo shows a paper wasp queen on an early nest. (Picture from: http://www.eurekalert.org/)
Sheehan also tested the ability of other wasp species, which are closely related to the paper wasps, namely P. metricus. Compared to P. fuscatus, this species does not have a pattern of diverse faces and live in colonies that are controlled by a single queen. In the T-maze test, P. metricus not a satisfactory score when asked to distinguish individual species.

"The difference in face recognition between these two species could not be included as a general difference in the ability to learn visually, since both these species and learn to distinguish patterns of artificial worms at the same speed with the same degree of accuracy," Tibbetts said in her report. "P. fuscatus and P. metricus only differ in their ability to study the excitatory normal face." Both concluded that the results of this study show that face recognition paper wasps have emerged due to the pressure. *** [TJANDRA DEWI | UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN | KORAN TEMPO 3752]
Enhanced by Zemanta


Post a Comment

Copyright © Hollywood Celebrity. All Rights Reserved.