Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bilkent, April 12: Michael Trestman on Bee Consciousnes (Online Event)

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Title: Flower communication in social bees: a case study in

Speaker: Michael Trestman

Psychology department seminar.

Date: Monday, 12 April 2021
Time: 16:30
Zoom Meeting Information:
Meeting ID: 876 074 2468
Passcode: 362441

Abstract: In this talk, I argue that behavioral, developmental,
ecological, and evolutionary evidence support attributions of
consciousness to bees, and further, that understanding the ways bees
experience their worlds is essential to fully understanding their
behavior and evolution. For a conscious animal, the world as experienced
is a critically important component of its phenotype, influencing many
aspects of behavior, development, ecology and evolution. In order to
make this discussion concrete, I will focus on the case study of the
social bees in family Apidae, which includes the honeybees, bumblebees
and the highly social stingless bees. In particular, I will focus on the
diversity of communication forms that have evolved in the social bees,
allowing returning foragers to communicate information about the
abundance, location, profitability and safety of specific flower
patches, to bees preparing to leave the nest on their own foraging
expeditions. This evolving behavioral system provides a fascinating
window into the way these animals experience their world, and serves as
an example of how consciousness can have a detectable signature on the
evolution of behavior: I argue that the observed distribution of
communication forms points to the existence, in the common ancestor of
Apidae of both conscious memory consolidation through episodic
recollection and decision-making through conscious episodic prospection.

About the speaker: Dr Trestman is an independent researcher in
consciousness studies and biological theory. He received his PhD in
philosophy in 2010 from University of Caifornia, Davis, and has held
Postdoctoral Fellowships from the USA National Science Foundation (NSF)
and the Tanner Humanities Center at University of Utah.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

April 8, 2021 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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