Dr. Felicity Muth
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Texas at Austen

Cognition with complex rewards: Insights from bumblebees

When making choices, animals often compare available options to those that were recently xperienced. Such decisions can be complex, often requiring individuals to compare multiple features associated with each option to those of recently encountered options.

Bumblebees are a useful system to address this topic, given that they forage on a wide variety of flowers, and in doing so rapidly integrate information about floral stimuli and rewards to learn and make decisions.

Dr. Muth will present recent work showing how reward perception is affected not only by recent experience with rewards, but also with associated stimuli. She will also discuss ongoing work focused on how bees evaluate multiple dimensions of reward quality and how these multi-attribute choices can bias decisionmaking. Finally, recent work on cognitive mechanisms underlying judgment bias in bees will be discussed.