Social learning and use of social information in general have been understood to be largely restricted to vertebrates. Among insects, social learning or processes akin to it have been reported only in colonial species (bees, ants, termites), suggesting that highly structured social organizations may have assisted the evolution of social learning. However, learning about predators or predation risk from others may constitute life-saving information, and not just in vertebrates or colonial insects. Theory predicts that social acquisition of such information should therefore have been evolutionarily favored in any species where members of that species can observe each other and behave differently under conditions of predation risk.
Researchers Isabelle Coolen, Olivier Dangles, and Jérôme Casas, from the University of Tours, France, considered that wood crickets might be just the candidate to test for this prediction. Indeed, wood crickets typically hide under leaves when in the presence of spiders, and the high local densities at which they live may well allow for social transmission of information regarding danger.
In the new work in the journal Current Biology, the authors found that not only do crickets hide more when in the presence of others who have just experienced a dangerous environment, but they also continue to do so long after these "demonstrators" are gone. The authors showed that the long-lasting behavioral changes cannot be simply attributed to such nonsocial factors as long re-emergence times or residual odor cues, and that the most straightforward explanation for the observed behavioral changes is one involving social learning. The findings of Dr. Coolen and colleagues therefore question the common conception that social learning is restricted to large-brained animals assumed to possess superior cognitive abilities.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences