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Honeybees link sights to smells

Abstract

It is common for a smell or a sound to trigger a vivid recollection of an associated event in the past, even if it involves a different sensory modality and the episode occurred a long time ago1,2. The human brain displays impressive cross-modal associative recall. Here we investigate whether this capacity extends to insects. We find that trained honeybees can recall a specific colour when they encounter a particular scent.

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Figure 1: Cross-modal associative recall in honeybees.

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Srinivasan, M., Zhang, S. & Zhu, H. Honeybees link sights to smells. Nature 396, 637–638 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/25272

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