Fish Can Perform Simple Calculations- Study

Interesting science

In the number range of one to five, cichlids and stingrays (Fish) can execute basic addition and subtraction. This was demonstrated in a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports by the University of Bonn. It’s unclear why the animals require their mathematical talents.

Assume some coins are on the table in front of you. If the number is tiny, you can tell how many there are immediately away. You don’t even need to count them—just a quick glance would be enough. In this regard, cichlids and stingrays are very comparable to humans: they can detect minute amounts precisely—and probably without counting. They can be taught to reliably discriminate quantities of three from amounts of four, for example.

This is something that has been known for a long time. However, a study team led by Professor Vera Schluessel of the University of Bonn’s Institute of Zoology has recently demonstrated that both species can compute. Schluessel notes, “We trained the animals to execute simple sums and subtractions.” “They had to increase or reduce a starting value by one to do so.”

But how do you get the answer to “2+1” or “5-1” from a cichlid? The researchers utilised a method that has previously been successfully used to examine the mathematical ability of bees by other research groups: They presented the fish with a variety of geometric forms, such as four squares. If these things were blue, it signified that the next discrimination would be “plus one.” The colour yellow, on the other hand, represented “one less.”

Following the original stimulus (for example, four squares), the animals were given two new photos, one with five squares and the other with three. They were rewarded with food if they swam to the proper picture (i.e., the five squares in the “blue” arithmetic exercise). They were sent home empty-handed if they offered the incorrect response. They learnt to identify the blue hue with a one-digit rise in the amount presented at the start, and the yellow number with a one-digit drop.

This accomplishment astounded the researchers, especially since the tasks were far more difficult in actuality than they had previously indicated. The fish have presented a mixture of forms rather than items of the same shape (e.g., four squares). A “four,” for example, maybe