FunNature & AnimalBees can be pessimistic too

Bees can be pessimistic too

abeja-nicotina When people feel depressed and anxious they tend to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Research published in the journal Current Biology reveals that bees also have a pessimistic view of reality after being subjected to a stressful situation . "Bees stressed by a simulated predator attack have the same emotional response as a depressed human, and perceive their environment pessimistically," explains Geraldine Wright, from Newcastle University (UK), a co-author of the study.

To find out how bees perceive the world around them, Wright and his colleagues had the insects judge whether a certain scent foreshadowed something good or bad . They were first trained to associate one smell with a sweet reward and another with the bitter taste of quinine. Once learned, they divided them into two groups and put one of them under stress. When they were re-exposed to the two scents, as well as various combinations of both, the stressed bees showed less interest in the scent they identified with quinine – and "tasted" it less – than the rest of the insects. That is, according to the authors, their expectations towards the unpleasant bitter taste were higher, which indicates that they made a more negative or pessimistic judgment of the situation.

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