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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Learned Use of Picture Cues by Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) in a Delayed Matching Task

School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jennifer Vonk
Behav. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 22;
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 5 October 2016 / Accepted: 6 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Cognition)
Picture-object correspondence provides an alternate method of investigating delayed matching by providing a cue (picture) which may be spontaneously perceived as similar but different from a corresponding target. Memory for, and corresponding choice of, a target corresponding to a cue could be facilitated by the use of a picture. Bumblebees have been found to both easily differentiate images from corresponding objects but also spontaneously perceive a similarity between the two. Herein, an approach was designed to test the possible use of picture cues to signal reward in a delayed matching task. Target choice preference corresponding to picture cues was tested among three bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) colonies using photograph cues (presented prior to target stimuli) corresponding to one of four target stimuli. Photograph cues were the only predictor of corresponding target reward, presented in stable locations. Rewarded and unrewarded tests show a choice preference significantly higher than chance for targets matching the cue. Results suggest that bumblebees can learn to use picture cues in a delayed matching task. Furthermore, experience, conditions of reward inconsistency and location, are discussed as possible contributing factors to learning in a delayed matching task. View Full-Text
Keywords: bumblebee; Bombus; delayed matching; picture-object correspondence bumblebee; Bombus; delayed matching; picture-object correspondence
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Thompson, E.; Plowright, C. Learned Use of Picture Cues by Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) in a Delayed Matching Task. Behav. Sci. 2016, 6, 22.

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