Friday, December 16, 2005

Does honeybee colony have "BEEG"?

The hypothesis that only vertebrates (having EEG) correspond to kem=4 level of dark matter hierarchy whereas insects would have kem=3 is only a hypothesis consistent with the empirical findings about the effects of ELF em fields on vertebrate brain (for the meaning of the integer kem see the previous postings). These findings do not imply the hypothesis and the situation need not be so simple as the hypothesis suggests in the case of social insects forming colonies. In fact, ELF magnetic field and magnetic fields are known to affect the behavior of honeybees just as ELF em fields affect the behavior of vertebrates: the model for this findings led to a model for the fractal hierarchy of EEGs.

It seems safe to assume that insect brain is so simple (in the case of honeybee the number of neurons 1/1000 of number of neurons in human retina) that it is not possible to assign kem=4 to it: this would also mean "personal" EEG not possessed by honeybees.

The fact that a honeybee isolated from colony dies just as does the cell separated from organism, suggests that the relationship of insect to colony is like that of a cell to organism. Hence one could test whether colonies of social insects or their sub-colonies might possess an analog of ordinary EEG: this might be a rather straightforward task. What this would mean that ant colonies have sufficiently complex hyper-genome making possible collective variants of memory, sensory input, and intelligence, as well as the ability to realize collective motor actions. Even bacterium colonies have intricate social structures so that one must remain open minded.

What inspired this comment was the article Why honeybees never forget a face? of New Scientist describing evidence supporting the view that honeybees might possess long term memory in the time scale of days.

The conservative explanation is that the achievement is due to keeping the face-honey association intact in the absence of the stimulus which created it in a time scale of days. For this option the ability of honeybee to express the distance and orientation to the food source could be hardwired involving no conscious memory about the flight. Also the interpretation of the honeybee dance telling the distance and orientation of food source to advices where to fly would be completely "instinctive".

A more radical option is that honeybee hive rather than honeybee has long term memories in the sense as long term memories are interpreted in TGD framework: that is as communications with the geometric past. In this case the span of long term memories is determined by the level of dark matter hierarchy as time T(kem) and few days span for long term memories forces the conclusion kem≥ 6. For kem=6 level of the dark matter hierarchy the basic "drum beat" defined by the corresponding Josephson frequency (counterpart of 5 Hz frequency in EEG) corresponds to 9 days. This would mean that also kem=4 (EEG) and and kem=5 (short term memory) levels would be present and the question is whether beehive indeed has "BEEG". Someone having the necessary equipment should go and make the measurements!

The possibility of "BEEG" is discussed in the last section of the chapter Dark Matter Hierarchy and Hierarchy of EEGs of "Genes, Memes, Qualia,...".

Matti Pitkanen

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