Insect Intelligence Study

New research examines insect brain size and concludes insects could be as smart as larger animals.


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A honeybee may have a pinhead-sized brain, but it can count, categorize similar objects such as human faces, understand simple logic, and differentiate between shapes, according to a report released this week in Current Biology. Two studies from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge suggest insects possess intelligent behaviors once thought unique to larger animals. Debunking the notion that body size is proportionate to intelligence, scientists say bigger animals need bigger brains to sustain a larger nervous system, and they are not necessarily more complex. The studies conclude that advanced thinking can exist in brains with a limited number of neurons.