The frontiers of insect cognition

Clint J. Perry, Andrew B. Barron, Lars Chittka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Insects have often been thought to display only the simplest forms of learning, but recent experimental studies, especially in social insects, have suggested various forms of sophisticated cognition. Insects display a variety of phenomena involving simple forms of tool use, attention, social learning of non-natural foraging routines, emotional states and metacognition, all phenomena that were once thought to be the exclusive domain of much larger-brained animals. This will require re-evaluation of what precise computational advantages might be gained by larger brains. It is not yet clear whether insects solve nominally similar tasks by fundamentally simpler mechanisms compared to vertebrates, though there might be differences in terms of the amount of parallel information processing that can be performed by various organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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