"Two, four, six, eight; bogin, don''t wait."
We as children, we learn numbers can be even or odd. There are several ways to categorize numbers as even or odd.
While numbers ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9, may be odd, or we may divide a number by two if any total number result means the number is even, otherwise it must be odd.
When dealing with real-world objects, we may also use pairing. If an unpaired element is left over, this implies the number of objects was unusual.
In a recent study published Friday in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, honeybees have the ability to learn to do this.
Why is parity categorization special?
Parity tasks (such as odd and even categorization) are considered abstract and high-level numerical concepts in humans.
When assessing numbers as odd or even odd, humans demonstrate accuracy, speed, language, and spatial relation biases.
As a result, we tend to respond faster to even numbers with actions performed by our right hand, but to odd numbers with actions performed by our left hand.
Even if we categorize numbers more efficiently and accurately, we are aware that research has found that children usually associate the word "even" with "right" and "odd."
These findings suggest that humans may have discovered biases and/or innate biases concerning odd and even numbers, which may have arisen either through evolution, cultural transmission, or a combination of both.
It''s no secret why parity might be beyond its use in mathematics, so the origins of these biases are unknown.
Understanding if and how other animals may (or may) recognize odd (and even numbers might rife us more about our own history with parity.
Training bees to learn odd and even
Honeybees may learn to order quantities, perform simple addition and subtraction, match symbols with quantities, and relate sizes and number concepts, according to new research.
Individuals were divided into two groups to gain exposure to sugar water and odd numbers with a bitter-tasting liquid (quinine). The other group was also trained to associate odd numbers with sugar water and even numbers with quinine.
An illustration of how bees were trained to associate ''even'' stimuli with a reward. (Scarlett Howard)
Individual bees were encouraged to make a comparison of odd versus even numbers (with cards depicting 1-10 printed shapes) until they found the correct answer with 80 percent accuracy.
Remarkably, the respective groups learned at different rates.
Bees are being trained to associate odd numbers with sugar water, which has been proven quicker.
People, who categorize even more numbers, were less pleased with their learning bias toward unusual numbers.
Each bee was then tested on the new numbers that were not shown during the training. Impressively, they classified the new numbers of 11 or 12 elements as odd or even with an average of 70%.
Our findings showed that honeybees'' miniature brains were able to understand the concepts of odd and even.
So a large and complex human brain comprenant 86 billion neurons, and a miniature insect brain with around 960,000 neurons, could both categorize numbers by parity.
Is this the parity task less complex than we''d previously thought? We turned to bio-inspired technology to get the answer.
Creating a simple artificial neural network
These artificial neural networks are scalable and capable of managing complex recognition and classification tasks using propositional logic.
To perform a parity test, we constructed a simple artificial neural network with only five neurons.
We measured between 0 and 40 pulses within the neural network, which it considered as either odd or even. Despite its simplicity, the pulse numbers were correctly categorized as odd or even with 100% accuracy.
This demonstrated that in principle parity categorization does not require a large and complex brain, like a human.
This doesn''t necessarily mean that the bees and the simple neural network used the same mechanism to handle the task.
Simple or complex?
We''re still not sure how the bees were capable of performing the parity task. Explanations may include simple or complex tasks. For example, the bees may have:
To discover an unpaired element, combine elements.
The division calculations were performed, although bees had previously not shown the division.
Added the odd/even categorization requirement to the total quantity.
A combination of elements is required to discover an unpaired element.
) division calculations are performed, but bees haven''t previously demonstrated this division.
Each element was counted, then applied the odd/even categorization rule to the total amount.
By teaching others to be able to distinguish between odd and even numbers and by performing other abstract mathematics, we may learn more about how maths and abstract thought erupted in humans.
Is discovering maths an unimaginable repercussion of intelligence? Or is maths logically linked to the human brain? Are the differences between humans and other animals less than we had previously imagined?
If we listen correctly, we might be able to glean these intellectual insights.
Scarlett Howard, Lecturer, Monash University, Adrian Dyer, Associate Professor, RMIT University, Andrew Greentree, Professor of Quantum Physics and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, RMIT University, and Jair Garcia, Research fellow, RMIT University.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.