Insect and human face recognition

Insects Recognize Faces Using Processing Mechanism Similar to That of Humans [Preview]

Conventional wisdom holds that the ability to recognize faces requires a complex mammalian brain. But some insects are surprisingly adept at this task

By Elizabeth A. Tibbetts and Adrian G. Dyer

Excerpt: “…certain insects that do not normally memorize faces in the wild can be trained to do so—and can at times even learn to tell human faces apart.”

My comment: Elekonich and Robinson (2000) “Organizational and activational effects of hormones on insect behavior”  extended to insects our 1996 mammalian model of pheromone-induced changes in hormones that organize and subsequently activate behavior detailed in “From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior.”

The idea  of face recognition in insects flies in the face of anyone familiar with biologically based cause and effect in any species. Even a friend who claims to be merely a relatively uneducated farmer mentioned that his bees recognize him. The only time he’s been stung was when he was severely ill, and he attributed that to the change in his natural scent.

He also attributes part of the world-wide problem with honeybee colony collapse to robbing the hives of too much honey, and providing them with high fructose substitutes.  Thus, he probably correctly identified a problem that is due to diet-driven changes in methyl groups that result in changes in the honeybee brain.

Honeybees are then less likely to properly respond to food odors due to changes in their dopaminergic and serotoninergic neuronal systems that are essential for selection of the most nutritious foods. The feedback of these and other neuronal systems on juvenile hormone supports the development of their immune system responses to changes in their sensory environment, which are associated with pesticides and cell phone towers etc. Researcher have ruled out some likely cause and effect relationships without consulting with farmers who know more about it. These researcher may be the same people who think the bees recognize the farmer’s face when they should know that self vs non-self recognition is a function of olfaction, pheromones, and the immune system in species from microbes to man.

Author: James Kohl

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