Thursday, 29 October 2015

Researchers find that some guppies can count

October 28, 2015

The humble guppy may not look like the smartest fish in the school, but research conducted by Associate Professor Culum Brown, from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, and colleagues from the University of Padova, has shown that they are far smarter than we thought. Their research, published in Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, examined the ability of guppies to count.

"We found that guppies that have very strongly lateralised brains are better at counting than those that have non-lateralised brains," said Professor Brown.

Scientists have often wondered why humans and other animals have lateralised brains, where the two halves of their brain execute different functions. In humans, for example, the left hemisphere is often associated with language and maths, while the right hemisphere is more artistic. One theory suggests that having strongly lateralised brains allows each hemisphere to analyse information separately.

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