Ken Thomas [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Like many animals, honeybees (Apis mellifera) suffer from declining brain function as they age. The pace of this decline varies among individuals, partly because of variations in social behavior. Gro V. Amdam (Arizona State University, Tempe, and Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas) and colleagues recently took a closer look at the effects of social behavior on aging-related declines in brain function in honeybees. They found that such declines were specifically associated with certain social roles and, moreover, could be reversed by changes in social behavior. The results suggest that social interventions may be effective treatment strategies for age-related declines in brain function in humans.
Lab Anim. (NY) 41, 209 (2012).
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