congresos y reuniones científicas
Past experience: help or hindrance to Vespula germanica foragers?
Congreso; XXVII Congreso Anual Sociedad Argentina Neurociencias; 2012
Institución organizadora:
In this study we investigated cognitive processes in Vespula germanica foragers analyzing the effects of past experience on wasp response to changing contexts. This social species frequently makes several consecutive flights between an undepleted food resource and the nest. In our experiment, carried out under natural conditions, an individual wasp collected food from a feeder located in a certain position in relation to a coloured array. After departure, food was displaced 60 cm and an empty dish was placed at the original feeding site. On its next visit, the wasp visited the empty feeder, without noticing the nearby presence of food. Our results showed that the detection of the displaced food source depended on the number of times a wasp had previously collected food from the first feeder location. Thus, four feeding experiences resulted in a significant increase in the searching time compared to one feeding experience. Why did returning foragers not detect the tangible meat, but searched over a site which no longer offered food, despite the fact that odour cues have great saliency for this species? In the present study, we discuss the delay in detection of more rewarding contexts from the perspective of the enactive theory which considers cognition as embodied action.