Saturday, 27 December 2014

Ants show left bias when exploring new spaces

Date:
December 24, 2014

Source:
University of Bristol

Summary:
Unlike Derek Zoolander, ants don't have any difficulty turning left. New research has found that the majority of rock ants instinctively go left when entering unknown spaces. Around ten percent of people are left-handed and brain lateralization is widespread in other vertebrates.

They found that ants were significantly more likely to turn left than right when exploring new nests. Such left bias was also present when the ants were put in branching mazes, though this bias was initially obscured by wall-following behaviour.

So why do the majority of rock ants turn left when entering unknown spaces?

Edmund Hunt said: "The ants may be using their left eye to detect predators and their right to navigate. Also, their world is maze-like and consistently turning one way is a very good strategy to search and exit mazes.

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