For the first time, Matthias Durrieu, Antoine Wystrach, Patrick Arrufat, Martin Giurfa and Guillaume Isabel from the CRCA have just experimentally showed that fruit flies can solve a more complex learning task.
This study was recently published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Matthias Durrieu, Antoine Wystrach, Patrick Arrufat, Martin Giurfa and Guillaume Isabel
What happens in an animal’s head when it moves? How does it look for food, sexual partners or a migration site? Does it plan its route or does it move randomly? Ethologists from the Centre de Recherche sur la Cognition Animale de Toulouse (CRCA-CBI / CNRS / Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier) have joined forces with ecologists from the Laboratoire Évolution et Diversité Biologique de Toulouse (EDB – CNRS / Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier / IRD), Researchers from the École Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse (ENVT), together with a company specialising in radio-tracking tools (Xerius), have developed a new methodology within everyone’s reach, based on network analysis, in order to simplify and characterise animal movements in space and time. This new study was published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
The multiplication of automated tracking tools now makes it possible to easily obtain high-resolution movement data for a large number of animal species. At the most basic level, it is possible to visualize the sequence of animal positions by joining them by a line, i.e. plotting the animal’s trajectory. Speed, the distance travelled between two successive positions, the time spent in a specific position and changes in direction are some of the main parameters that can be extracted from this trajectory. Variation in these parameters tends to be correlated with changes in an individual’s behaviour. However, until now, these variations have provided little information on the time dimension of trajectories.
Today, researchers are showing that they are able to perceive the stress of their fellow human beings and use this social information to avoid potential dangers. These results are published in the journal Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society B.
The blob is a single-celled organism without a nervous system that inhabits moist, dark undergrowth. Scientists have just demonstrated that the blob can detect the stress of its congeners. This discovery follows a previous study that showed that blobs are able to detect the presence of their congeners in the environment. Indeed, when they feed, blobs excrete chemicals that are attractive to nearby blobs and that underlie their aggregation.
An individual-based model demonstrates that these impressive feats of nutritional compensation emerge from simple individual decisions. These results show that, by adjusting their feeding behavior at the individual level, ants sustain homeostasis at the colony level.
In ants, food is brought back to the nest by only 10% of its members: the harvesters. The food is then regurgitated and shared among all the members of the colony. How do the harvesters deal with food imbalances in the colony?
This collective book, written by researchers from the CNRS and INRA as well as academics, reveals the fascinating world of bees – what they have, what they are and what they do -, deciphers the links they have with nature and humanity, the dangers that threaten them and us, while addressing the scientific solutions to face them.
Une histoire intime avec l’humanité
Under the direction of Martine Regert with the participation of Martin Giurfa(CRCA-CBI).
Preface by Jean Claude Ameisen
160 pages – 24.90 €
Editor : Le cherche midi
Whether on the holiday road or on daily journeys, traffic jams affect both cars and pedestrians. Laure-Anne Poissonnier and Audrey Dussutour, researchers at CRCA and their colleagues at the University of Arizona, demonstrate that ant societies are protected from these problems and circulate with ease even when traffic is extremely dense. This way, their food harvest never loses its effectiveness. This work is published in the journal eLife on 22 October 2019.
Researchers from the CRCA-CBI Toulouse have just demonstrated that bees not only can discriminate quantities relatively (one presenting more or less elements than the other) but also with an absolute representation of numbers.
This work, published in Biology Letters, shows that honeybees are capable to identify numbers independently of any relative comparison (more/less). The bees' sense of number seems consequently to parallel the Human's one, suggesting widespread numerical competence in animals and independent emergence of the sense of number in different branches of species evolution.
Depression is a major public health concern and one of the priorities in the field of psychiatry, notably to develop therapeutic strategies with a better efficacy than currently available antidepressant drugs.
A recent study led by Bruno GUIARD, professor at the University of Toulouse III, Paul Sabatier (Research Center On Animal Cognition / Center of Integrative Biology), provides experimental evidence that metformin, an oral anti diabetic, produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects in insulin-resistant mice. This finding is particularly interesting in light of the therapeutic limitations of antidepressant drugs and pave the way to the identification of new targets for the treatment of psychiatric disorders in relation with the peripheral metabolism.
This finding is particularly interesting in light of the therapeutic limitations of antidepressant drugs and pave the way to the identification of new targets for the treatment of psychiatric disorders in relation with the peripheral metabolism. This study has been published recently in Journal of Neuroscience (J Neurosci. 2019 Jun 3. pii: 2904-18. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2904-18.2019).
Physarum polycephalum is a complex single-cell organism that has no nervous system. It can learn and transfer its knowledge to its fellow slime moulds via fusion. How it did so was a mystery. Researchers at the Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale (CNRS/UT3 Paul Sabatier)1 have recently demonstrated that slime moulds learn to tolerate a substance by absorbing it.
This discovery stems from an observation: slime moulds only exchange information when their venous networks fuse. In that case, does knowledge circulate through these veins? Is it the substance that the slime mould gets used to that supports its memory?
By combining multi-scale X-ray imaging with three-dimensional flow field simulations, Guy Theraulaz and Christian Jost of CRCA-CBI Toulouse, in collaboration with researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham, studied the impact of architectural nest wall design on CO2 exchange, heat transport and water drainage
This study, published in the journal Science Advances, showed that termites build outer walls that contain both small and percolating large pores at the microscale and these microstructures play a fundamental role in the properties of termites.