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Changing your mind

One aspect of insect foraging behaviour that often seems counter-intuitive is their perseverance to previously rewarding locations, even after those locations have ceased to be productive. From an ecological perspective this must have value, presumably related to the distribution and dynamics of food sources. Experimentally, this slow process of ‘re-learning’ a food location can be used to understand the spatial encoding of location. D’Adamo and Lozada use this process to investigate how wasps can ‘forget’ previously rewarding locations. As would be expected – they demonstrate that simultaneous changes to local landmarks when a feeder is depleted make it easier for individuals to forget the previous location and learn a new feeder.
 
D’Adamo, P., & Lozada, M. (2013). How Context Modification can Favor the Release of Past Experience in Vespula germanica Wasps, Enabling the Detection of a Novel Food Site. Journal of Insect Behavior, 1-8.
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Categories: Papers from 2014
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