The thesis the data comes from analyses patterns of growth, decline, clustering and dispersal of live music in Sydney and Melbourne between the 1980s and 2000s. It demonstrates the use of historical Geographic Information Systems, combined with interviews, as a methodological approach for understanding the impacts of restructuring in cultural industries. It offers a practical example of applied social research with GIS.
The project developed a novel methodology combining GIS with interviews with music scene
participants. A substantial part of the research project comprised the development of a historical geodatabase, leveraging the spatial and temporal data embedded in historical live music performance listings (‘gig listings’) sourced from archived publications in Sydney and Melbourne. This geodatabase ultimately incorporates over 20,000 live music listings and over 2500 geocoded venues.
The historical geodatabase was built incrementally to adapt to the format of the historical data. The structure maintains a one-to-one relationship to primary sources from different publications, allowing for quality checks, but can produce normalised outputs that allow live music venues, performances, and bands to be analysed separately. Outputs from the geodatabase have facilitated the quantitative analysis and geovisualisation of live music data over the study time frame in Sydney and Melbourne.
The pressing infant biometric problem is to find a biometric means to identify infants cheaply, reliably, and automatically. Physical traits of infants are tiny, delicate, and grow rapidly. The authors focus on a novel area of friction-ridge skin as a potential answer: the ball under the big toe. The ballprint is readily accessible, with more features and larger ridges than a fingerprint. The authors followed 54 newborns for 2 years, capturing their ballprints with an adult fingerprint scanner within 3 days of birth, at 2 months, at 6 months, and at 2 years. The authors show the growth of the ballprint is isotropic rather than affine during infancy. The isotropic growth rate from birth can be measured by the change in inter-ridge spacing, which the authors show precisely mirrors change in physical length from birth, as recorded by World Health Organisation for large, diverse infant populations. From 2 months of age, by using isotropic scaling to compensate for growth, the authors successfully matched good quality images with 0% equal error rate using existing adult fingerprint technology, even for captures 22 months apart. These findings flag the value of ballprints as a practical means of infant identification, by themselves, or together or sequentially with other biometrics.
Collection relating to the career of Les Mason (1937-2016) in Australia, held in 13 boxes. It includes biographical materials, correspondence, fliers, letterheads, packaging posters, magazines, slides, transparencies and film.
Graphic designer and art director Les Mason (1924-2009) was born in California in 1924, and studied painting and interior design at Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles. When he set up his first practice West Coast Designers (1958) abstraction and pop were at their peak. In the role of art director, conceptualiser, artist, photographer and typographer Mason was, when he left for Australia, the epitome of the new graphic design professional. He arrived in Melbourne in 1961, accompanied by his wife Pat (graphic designer and typographer) to work as an art director with the advertising agency USP (United Services Publicity) Benson. There he made his mark with an award-winning campaign for Shell Australia. The following year the Masons opened their own agency Les Mason Graphic Design (1962-1981). The studio produced award winning advertising campaigns, packaging, corporate identities, printed collateral, architectural graphics for a wide range of clients such as : Tarax, Peters, Bowater-Scott, Comalco Aluminium, Wynvale Wines, Philip Morris, Fletcher Jones fashion, Australia Post, State Bank of Victoria, Australian Paper and Pulp, Sigma Laboratories, the Salvation Army, Melbourne Zoo and the Victorian Arts Centre. In 1966, Mason was approached by Allan Holdsworth of Lawrence Publishing with offer to become the art director for a new magazine for the Food and Wine Society of Australia, the Epicurean (1966-1979). Mason was given absolute creative freedom which he embraced treating the magazine as a progressive art work combined with playful yet rigorous typography and layouts by Pat Grainger. Pat left the partnership in 1972. Holdsworth died in 1979 Mason’s involvement ceased. In late 1960s and 1970s important commissions included the Preservene (soap) identity campaign (1973-74) made with young film director Fred Schepisi, and the ‘Thanks God for the Salvos’ campaign (1969-mid 1970s). He was made a member of the elite Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and the New York Type Directors Club in 1975. In 1982 he and copyrighter Gail Devine married and moved to Perth, Western Australia, where they ran a consultancy. Les was inducted into the Australian Graphic Design Association’s (AGDA) Hall of Fame in 1996. He died in October 2009.
The collection comprises two accession lots, the first comprising twelve boxes and the second, one box. The collection is arranged by media and by client. The Epicurean Magazine is held in boxes 1 and 2; Materials relating to various clients, and biographical materials are held in boxes 3 and 4; Publications are held box 5; Transparencies, slides and films in Boxes 7 and 8; Fliers are held in box 10 and Packaging in Box 11. A further accession lot contains an issue of Graphis, and material relating to The Epicurean magazine. A detailed inventory is available.
Collection of archival material relating to the working life of automotive designer Phillip Zmood including student examination results, correspondence, photographs, original designs and sketches for cars, car brochures and press releases, newspaper and magazine clippings, awards.
Phillip Zmood (1943- ) began his industrial design studies at RMIT in 1960, completing an Associate Diploma in Industrial Design 1964/65. During his student years Zmood received several design awards, including first place in the British Carriage and Automobile Manufacturer's 1962-63 Automobile Body Design Competition. The original drawing of the Gannet 1000 that won the competition, is among the original designs he has donated to the RMIT Design Archives.
In 1965 Zmood commenced work as a staff designer at General Motors Holden and by 1966 was promoted to Assistant Chief Designer, and became a major contributor to the Monaro HQ vehicles, a series renowned for its contemporary styling. From 1969 to 1978 he was the Chief Designer at GMH’s Torana design studio, leading the team responsible for designing the LJ, LH and LX Toranas. A series designed to compete with rising popularity of smaller Japanese vehicles. After a stint in Germany from 1978 until 1980 as Chief Designer in GM’s Opel Advance Studio, Zmood returned to Melbourne in 1981 to work on the VK and VL Commodores in the position of Executive Designer reporting to GMH’s Director of Design, Leo Pruneau. In 1983 Zmood was appointed the first Australian Director of Design at GMH, a position he held until 1995. From 1995 to 1998 Zmood was GM & Holden Global Rear Wheel Drive General Manager at the GM Technical Centre in Michigan, USA and from 1998 to 2000 was responsible for setting up the design team for GM China, and its first Design Director. During this period Holden Design Australia became one of the most cost effective automotive design units in the world. Retiring from GMH, in 2002 Zmood established Euro Design Associates, an industrial design and design management consultancy. Phillip Zmood was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia's Hall of Fame in 1997.
There are two accession lots 0021.2009, and the second the larger one 0017.2010, and one inventory. The collection is arranged chronologically and grouped by Design Studio. There are 15 boxes of materials. Ephemera, photographs, magazines and brochures, student works are housed in boxes 1 to 12, for example box 6 contains car brochures; box 7 photographs and drawings of clay models; box 10 ephemera relating to the GM Opal Design Studio in Germany; drawings for various design studios and models are grouped together, for example Box 13 holds drawings for Chevrolet/Detroit Studio 1967; Box 14 holds drawings for General Motors Holden and Gemini; Box 15 Drawings – GMH Torana Studio.
Collection of 700 album covers produced by the World Record Club in Melbourne.
The World Record Club was initially established in London in 1958 by John Day, an Australian Copywriter, Norman Lonsdale, a British Merchant Banker. It issued records through a mail order membership system. In 1958 Terence Creswell-George established the World Record Club (WRC) in Melbourne. The Club initially operated from Flinders Lane, and subsequently moved to Hartwell. The World Record Club is one of the most representative collections of the work of Australian designers and artists and operated from 1958 until 1976 in Melbourne. Inaugural art director Geoff Digby, an alumnus of RMIT, commissioned emerging Australian designers, photographers and illustrators to create art and designs for more than 2000 covers. Contributors included Paul Cleveland, John Copeland, Robert Haberfield, Geoff Hocking, David Leonard, Gus Van Der Heyde, Max Robinson, Athol Shmith, Lance Stirling, Alex Stitt, Gerard Vandenburgh and Tony Ward.
The collection is housed in 41 boxes, boxes 1-6 are arranged alphabetically by composer, and the covers have been digitized and catalogued, boxes 7 to 41 are arranged by composer.
The Australian Urban Observatory takes complex urban data and turns it into social, economic and environmental indicators that measure the liveability of Australian cities at the local neighbourhood level. The indicators available in the online portal have been designed for evidence-informed public policy and planning, broader community discussion about important issues across the country and future sustainable development in Australia. The online portal has been developed by the Healthy Liveable Cities Group at RMIT University and is designed for audiences in policy, planning, education, research and advocacy.
Please reference your usage of the Australian Urban Observatory using the following citation example:
Healthy Liveable Cities Group 2020, Australian Urban Observatory, RMIT University, viewed <dd/mm/yyyy>, https://auo.org.au/
DOI reference: 10.25956/5dcb85fa3bdfc
Associate Professor Adrian Miles was co–director of the non/fictionLab, and Deputy Dean Learning and Teaching in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, in Melbourne, Australia. He was formerly the Program Director of the consilience Honours lab. He was also a senior new media researcher in the InterMedia Lab at the University of Bergen, Norway.
Miles had extensive experience in the development, implementation and assessment of innovative pedagogies in new media and media studies education. Miles undertook substantial research and development in desktop networked interactive technologies, using 'off the shelf' software and systems to develop new knowledge genres and objects.
His academic research on hypertext and networked interactive video is widely published. Research interests included hypertext, new pedagogies for media education, digital humanities and media, digital video poetics, interactive documentary, and computational nonfiction. There is a strong theoretical theme through all this work (Deleuze's cinema philosophy, recent research on new materialism, and avatars of these.) He was the first or second person in the world to videoblog.
This research data collection comprises of a listing of his physical academic book collection, an archive of his publicly available Vogmae site, data from his work archives, and images of his office and book collection. The archive is currently being worked on by RMIT staff.
This archive is a collaborative research project between the School of Communication & Design and the Library RMIT University Vietnam, with funding through the Research Office, RMIT University, Vietnam. The archive is a collection of materials that have been captured and manipulated to document the various events within the Hems [Alleyways] of District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, using video, photography, audio recordings, drawing and mixed reality technology. This archive should be understood as a creative archive. It is an ongoing collection of audio visual material is processed using various digital tools. Alongside this the raw captured data also forms a key component of the archive. Together this forms a factual and creative understanding of these unique spaces.
This archive primarily came about through a research project that focused on the District 4 Hems as an urban environment that offers a specific glimpse into urban living in the 21st Century in Ho Chi Minh City. This urban investigation is considered critical as the city rapidly undergoes redevelopment. These unique urban spaces offer an insight into not just urban living conditions but also an insight into a cultural environment that is resilient and resourceful. The value of this archive is defined through its factual and creative functions. These two functions at as a record of what has been and what can be.
Since September 2016 a group of RMIT University Vietnam researchers and research assistants, have made many visits to a group of Hems in Ward 14, District 4. Their interest, as creative practitioners, was to record different aspects of this group of hems. The material captured included audio, photographic, video and audio based material. The researchers then have used the material for creative outputs that celebrate the uniqueness of the spaces, and hopefully help define these spaces as culturally critical, in the ‘egoless’ city.
Hydrothermal processing plays a significant role in sewage sludge treatment. However, the rheological behaviour of sludge during these processes is not fully understood. A better understanding of the sludge rheology under hydrothermal processing conditions can help improve process efficiency. Moreover, sludge rheology is easier to measure than chemical analyses. If a relationship could be established, it provides a possibility of using rheological measurement as a basis for monitoring the performance of hydrothermal processing.
The rheological changes in thickened waste activated sludge (7 wt%) was investigated using a pressure cell-equipped rheometer during 60-min thermal hydrolysis (TH) at various temperatures (80–145 °C) and constant pressure (5 bar). Changes in the soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) were measured using a separate reactor with a similar operating condition.
The sludge behaved as a shear-thinning fluid and could be described by the Herschel-Bulkley model. At constant temperature, the yield stress and high-shear (600 s−1) viscosity of sludge decreased logarithmically over 60 min. At constant time, the yield stress and the high-shear viscosity decreased linearly with increasing TH temperature and these values was much less than corresponding properties after treatment and cooling down to 25 °C. The soluble COD of sludge also increased logarithmically over 60 min at constant temperature, and increased linearly with increasing temperature at constant time. Furthermore, the yield stress and high-shear viscosity reduction showed a linear correlation with the increase in soluble COD.
This collection comprises of print and electronic versions of catalogues related to exhibitions held in these two spaces between 2000-2018.
Australia's RMIT University is ranked 16th in the world for art and design, which positions it as the top art school in the country. The School of Art fosters innovative and diverse art practice and research within visual art, fine art, public art, and arts management
PROJECT SPACE is a gallery that links prominent exemplars of practice-based research with Melbourne’s creative communities through a dynamic program of contemporary art projects. Housed in RMIT University's Building 94, it runs a dynamic program of exhibitions and events from February to December.
SPARE ROOM is a gallery space adjacent to PROJECT SPACE in RMIT's Building 94. Both of these gallery programs are aligned such that exhibitions launch and run together and are often conceptually linked. SPARE ROOM acts as a small space for large ideas—it is a keyhole into a rich variety of potential conversations, from blue skies to deep dives.
This collection comprises of 40+ books, most of which are inscribed by former chairman of the Herald group, and prominent journalist Sir Keith Murdoch, the founder of News Limited (News Corp Australia) and father of business magnate and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The collection is supplemented with a few biographies of Sir Keith Murdoch, as well as a commemorative book produced by the Herald staff in 1952 (the year he died) and the auction catalogue from the sale of his art collection and household effects the following year.
Sir Keith Murdoch is a fascinating figure in Australian history, and his formative experiences abroad as a reporter and war correspondent had a profound effect on his later life. While visiting troops in Gallipoli in 1915, he wrote his famed "Gallipoli letter" expressing grave concerns about the situation there. It is widely credited with helping force the evacuation of Australian troops in December that year.
Peter Corrigan's extensive collection of books and periodicals related to architecture and design.
Corrigan was one half of Edmond and Corrigan, "an Australian architectural firm based in Melbourne, Victoria, founded in the late 1970s by partners Maggie Edmond and Peter Corrigan, the firm's principals. The practice's work, both built and written, has been widely associated with the emergence of architectural postmodernism in Australia, an interest in suburbia and a search for an Australian architectural identity. Peter Corrigan taught design studios at RMIT University for over 30 years" [Wikipedia].
Currently, around 400 special collection items are available to view at RMIT's Special Collections room as well as 1300 journals and 3,500 other monographs held as part of this collection.
Frederick Stern (1900–1951), architectural draftsman, educator, interior designer and writer
F Frederick Sterne was born Friedrich Sternschein in Linz, Austria the second of three sons of Czech-born Albert and Ida Sternschein (nee Winternitz). After secondary school he claims to have attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna however there is no surviving record of his attendance. In 1930 at the age of twenty he enrolled at TUWien taking courses in economics and administrative law, and in 1934 his Austrian passport listed Sternschein’s profession as an architect. In 1938, Sternschein left Austraia with his his wife Maria, whom he had married in Vienna in 1933, and they migrated via England to Australia arriving in Melbourne in 1938. On arrival Frederick abbreviated his name to Sterne and entered the architecture office of Leighton Irwin working as an architectural draughtsman until the end of the War. In 1944 he sought naturalization and became an Australian citizen. In 1946 he collaborated with journalist Mary Jane Seymour of the Australian Home Beautiful on a series of articles on modern interior design and a year later began lecturing part-time at the Melbourne Technical College (MTC) in architecture, interior design, furniture design and building construction. In 1948 he was employed full-time at the MTC and set about upgrading the three-year Interior Decoration course to Australia's first four-year Interior Design Diploma. Sterne also wrote the Correspondence Course in Interior Design for the College's external students. He died on 28 August 1951. His funeral was held in the Chevra Kadisha Chapel, North Carlton.
The collection is arranged in two boxes. The first box comprises 5 issues of Australian Home Beautiful (1946); original black and white photographs of his home featuring his furniture design and textiles by Frances Burke, perspective, plans and diazotypes relating to Blackwood Cottage, Emerald. Melbourne Technical College Interior Design Papers 1-3, and 10 12. Box 2 contains a model of a house.
The health benefits of long-term dietary plant ingestion are well-established. However, literature on acute nutritional challenges is very limited. This study aimed to identify available evidence on transcriptomics responses to acute ingestion of plants or plant extracts and identify signature gene profiles that may serve as biomarkers of health status. We systematically searched electronic databases and extracted information based-on inclusion criteria such as human clinical studies, single plant-based nutrients and outcomes reported on acute transcriptome responses. A total of 11 studies reported on acute intake of plant dietary interventions. Four studies investigating natural oil extracts with three reporting on whole plants and two studies on natural plant-derived extracts. Gene expression was found to be associated with immune response (7 studies), inflammation (9 studies), metabolism (8 studies), cellular processes and cancer. The finding of this systematic review suggests that acute ingestion may significantly impact diverse physiological and pathological pathways including inflammatory, immune, cancer and oxidative stress pathways. Transcriptomics approach is proven to be an effective strategy in discovery of these anticipated mechanisms. Further studies are now required to validate and continue exploring the short-term health impact of dietary plants and their bioactive phytochemicals on gene expression and function.
Both the phylogenetic structure and trait composition of flowering plant communities may be expected to change with altitude. In particular, floral colours are thought to vary with altitude because Hymenoptera typically decline in importance as pollinators while Diptera and Lepidoptera become more important at higher elevations. Thus, ecological filtering among elevation zones and competitive processes among co-occurring species within zones could influence the floral chromatic cues present at low and high elevations.
We collected data from 107 species of native flowering plants in the Himalaya mountains of central Nepal over an elevation range of 900-4100 m, which includes habitat ranging from subtropical to subalpine within a relatively small geographical area.
There was significant phylogenetic clustering in the communities as a result of monocots, particularly orchids, which were found overwhelmingly at lower elevations. Phylogenetic signal for floral colours indicated that related species had colours that were more disparate than expected under Brownian motion evolution. Floral colours were significantly more diverse in the higher elevation subalpine zone than in the subtropical zone. However, the chromatic cues at both elevations were consistent with the hue discrimination abilities of the trichromatic hymenopteran visual system.
Synthesis. Flower colour is not highly differentiated between subtropical and subalpine vegetation due to differences in the available orders of insect pollinators, or by the rate or direction of color evolution in the lineages composing the two communities. Differences in colour diversity between zones may reflect differences in the ecologically available morphospace based on pollinator species richness and the constancy of their foraging behaviour. The chromatic signals present in Nepali species are similar to the signals found in insect-pollinated floras of other regions of the world.
Multiple barriers may contribute to reproductive isolation between closely related species. Understanding the relative strength of these barriers can illuminate the ecological factors that currently maintain species integrity and how these factors originally promoted speciation. Two Himalayan alpine gingers, Roscoea purpurea and R. tumjensis, occur sympatrically in central Nepal and have such similar morphology that it is not clear whether or how they maintain a distinct identity. Our quantitative measurements of the components of reproductive isolation show that they are, in fact, completely isolated by a combination of phenological displacement of flowering, earlier for R. tumjensis and later for R. purpurea, and complete fidelity of visitation by different pollinator species, bumblebees for R. tumjensis and a long-tongued fly for R. purpurea. Furthermore, the nectar of R. tumjensis flowers is available to the shorter-tongued bumblebees while R. purpurea nectar is less accessible, requiring deep probing from long-tongued flies. Although flowering phenology is a strong current barrier that seemingly obviates any need for pollinator discrimination, this current pattern need not reflect selective forces occurring at the initial divergence of R. tumjensis. There has been considerable pollinator switching during the radiation of the Himalayan Roscoea, and the association of flowering time with type of pollinator in these sympatric species may have originated among the earliest or latest flowering individuals or populations of an ancestor in order to exploit either bumblebee activity early in the breeding season or long-tongued fly abundance later in the season. These two sympatric Roscoea species add to accumulating evidence of the primacy of pre-zygotic pollination traits in speciation among angiosperms even in the absence of post-zygotic incompatibility.
Dataset includes all variables (climatic and colour) used for analyses in manuscript. Some variables were log-transformed in the models, details are given in the manuscript. Also includes the 4500 phylogenetic trees used in comparative analyses. File that matches tree tips and data rows is found as a tab in the complete dataset file.
Colour variation across climatic gradients is a common ecogeographical pattern; yet there is long-standing contention over underlying causes, particularly selection for thermal benefits. We tested the evolutionary association between climate gradients and reflectance of near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, which influence heat gain but are not visible to animals. We measured ultraviolet (UVA), visible (Vis) and NIR reflectance from calibrated images of 372 butterfly specimens from 60 populations (49 species, five families) spanning the Australian continent. Consistent with selection for thermal benefits, the association between climate and reflectance was stronger for NIR than UVA–Vis wavelengths. Furthermore, climate predicted reflectance of the thorax and basal wing, which are critical to thermoregulation; but it did not predict reflectance of the entire wing, which has a variable role in thermoregulation depending on basking behaviour. These results provide evidence that selection for thermal benefits has shaped the reflectance properties of butterflies.
Some vertebrates demonstrate complex numerosity concepts—including addition, sequential ordering of numbers, or even the concept of zero—but whether an insect can develop an understanding for such concepts remains unknown. We trained individual honey bees to the numerical concepts of “greater than” or “less than” using stimuli containing one to six elemental features. Bees could subsequently extrapolate the concept of less than to order zero numerosity at the lower end of the numerical continuum. Bees demonstrated an understanding that parallels animals such as the African grey parrot, nonhuman primates, and even preschool children.
Color discrimination thresholds proposed by receptor-noise type models are frequently used in animal vision studies to predict a precise limit on the capacity of an animal to discriminate between stimuli. Honeybees and bumblebees are two closely related hymenopteran species for which precise data on photoreceptor sensitivities and receptor noise exist, enabling accurate testing on how their vision conforms to model predictions. Color vision has been proven in these species, and they are known to predominantly visit flowers using visual signals to collect nutrition. Surprisingly, however, the natural variability of flower signals has been rarely considered, and recent work also suggests bees may tune color vision through experience. We initially measured the spectral variability of flowers from two species: Goodenia ovata and Rosemarinus officinalis where free-flying honeybees were observed constantly foraging from conspecific flowers. We empirically determined honeybee color discrimination thresholds for color stimuli considering either absolute- or differential-conditioning discrimination functions. Secondly, we analyzed greenhouse grown wild type Antirrhinum majus flower petal spectra as well as spectra from mixta and nivea strains of this species, and empirically determined bumblebee color discrimination considering conditioning experience. In all measured cases within-flower type spectral variability exceeded a 1.0 Receptor Noise threshold, often by several units. Observed behavioral color discrimination functions considering the respective conditioning procedures closely matched the range of signal variability for both honeybees and bumblebees, showing that color vision in bees cannot be described by a single fixed value, and plasticity is a key component of bee foraging behavior in natural environments.
Date consists of: Zip file containing the reflectance spectra measured from Rosemarinus officinalis, Goodenia ovata and three strains of Antirrhinum majus used for the analyses. Data are stored as .csv files for each species/strain. Please refer to the README and the associated manuscript for details.
We used a colour-space model of avian vision to assess whether a distinctive bird pollination syndrome exists for floral colour among Australian angiosperms. We also used a novel phylogenetically based method to assess whether such a syndrome represents a significant degree of convergent evolution. About half of the 80 species in our sample that attract nectarivorous birds had floral colours in a small, isolated region of colour space characterized by an emphasis on long-wavelength reflection. The distinctiveness of this 'red arm' region was much greater when colours were modelled for violet-sensitive (VS) avian vision than for the ultraviolet-sensitive visual system. Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae) are the dominant avian nectarivores in Australia and have VS vision. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest that 31 lineages evolved into the red arm region, whereas simulations indicate that an average of five or six lineages and a maximum of 22 are likely to have entered in the absence of selection. Thus, significant evolutionary convergence on a distinctive floral colour syndrome for bird pollination has occurred in Australia, although only a subset of bird-pollinated taxa belongs to this syndrome. The visual system of honeyeaters has been the apparent driver of this convergence.
The dataset consists of two files:
1. Burd-EMS.docx - List of taxa, pollination class, location in or out of the ‘red arm’ region, and Cartesian coordinates in VS and UVS colour space for each species
2. Burdetal_Austr_tree.nex - Phylogenetic tree used in the analysis
Attached file provides supplementary data for linked article.
Honeybees learn color information of rewarding flowers and recall these memories in future decisions. For fine color discrimination, bees require differential conditioning with a concurrent presentation of target and distractor stimuli to form a long-term memory. Here we investigated whether the long-term storage of color information shapes the neural network of microglomeruli in the mushroom body calyces and if this depends on the type of conditioning. Free-flying honeybees were individually trained to a pair of perceptually similar colors in either absolute conditioning towards one of the colors or in differential conditioning with both colors. Subsequently, bees of either conditioning groups were tested in non-rewarded discrimination tests with the two colors. Only bees trained with differential conditioning preferred the previously learned color, whereas bees of the absolute conditioning group, and a stimuli-naïve group, chose randomly among color stimuli. All bees were then kept individually for three days in the dark to allow for complete long-term memory formation. Whole-mount immunostaining was subsequently used to quantify variation of microglomeruli number and density in the mushroom-body lip and collar. We found no significant differences among groups in neuropil volumes and total microglomeruli numbers, but learning performance was negatively correlated with microglomeruli density in the absolute conditioning group. Based on these findings we aim to promote future research approaches combining behaviorally relevant color learning tests in honeybees under free-flight conditions with neuroimaging analysis; we also discuss possible limitations of this approach.
How different visual systems process images and make perceptual errors can inform us about cognitive and visual processes. One of the strongest geometric errors in perception is a misperception of size depending on the size of surrounding objects, known as the Ebbinghaus or Titchener illusion. The ability to perceive the Ebbinghaus illusion appears to vary dramatically among vertebrate species, and even populations, but this may depend on whether the viewing distance is restricted. We tested whether honeybees perceive contextual size illusions, and whether errors in perception of size differed under restricted and unrestricted viewing conditions. When the viewing distance was unrestricted, there was an effect of context on size perception and thus, similar to humans, honeybees perceived contrast size illusions. However, when the viewing distance was restricted, bees were able to judge absolute size accurately and did not succumb to visual illusions, despite differing contextual information. Our results show that accurate size perception depends on viewing conditions, and thus may explain the wide variation in previously reported findings across species. These results provide insight into the evolution of visual mechanisms across vertebrate and invertebrate taxa, and suggest convergent evolution of a visual processing solution.
The test data related to the article consists of three files: one contains all bee choices for the 20 choices of each test (learning, transfer 1 and transfer 2) for bees in the unrestricted viewing condition; one contains all choices for each bee during the 80 conditioned choices of the learning phase for bees trained under both restricted and unrestricted viewing conditions; the final file contains the 20 choices each bee made during all tests (learning, transfer 1 and transfer 2) in the restricted viewing condition using the y-maze.
Attached file provides supplementary data for linked article.
Mimicking female insects to attract male pollinators is an important strategy in sexually deceptive orchids of the genus Ophrys, and some species possess flowers with conspicuous labellum patterns. The function of the variation of the patterns remains unresolved, with suggestions that these enhance pollinator communication. We investigated the possible function of the labellum pattern in Ophrys heldreichii, an orchid species in which the conspicuous and complex labellum pattern contrasts with a dark background. The orchid is pollinated exclusively by males of the solitary bee, Eucera berlandi. Comparisons of labellum patterns revealed that patterns within inflorescences are more similar than those of other conspecific plants. Field observations showed that the males approach at a great speed and directly land on flowers, but after an unsuccessful copulation attempt, bees hover close and visually scan the labellum pattern for up to a minute. Learning experiments conducted with honeybees as an accessible model of bee vision demonstrated that labellum patterns of different plants can be reliably learnt; in contrast, patterns of flowers from the same inflorescence could not be discriminated. These results support the hypothesis that variable labellum patterns in O. heldreichii are involved in flower-pollinator communication which would likely help these plants to avoid geitonogamy.
We studied biotically pollinated angiosperms on Macquarie Island, a remote site in the Southern Ocean with a predominately or exclusively dipteran pollinator fauna, in an effort to understand how flower colour affects community assembly. We compared a distinctive group of cream-green Macquarie Island flowers to the flora of likely source pools of immigrants and to a continental flora from a high latitude in the northern hemisphere. We used both dipteran and hymenopteran colour models and phylogenetically informed analyses to explore the chromatic component of community assembly. The species with cream-green flowers are very restricted in colour space models of both fly vision and bee vision and represent a distinct group that plays a very minor role in other communities. It is unlikely that such a community could form through random immigration from continental source pools. Our findings suggest that fly pollination has imposed a strong ecological filter on Macquarie Island, favouring floral colours that are rare in continental floras. This is one of the strongest demonstrations that plant–pollinator interactions play an important role in plant community assembly. Future work exploring colour choices by dipteran flower visitors would be valuable.
Recent studies on colour discrimination suggest that experience is an important factor in how a visual system processes spectral signals. In insects it has been shown that differential conditioning is important for processing fine colour discriminations. However, the visual system of many insects, including the honeybee, has a complex set of neural pathways, in which input from the long wavelength sensitive (‘green’) photoreceptor may be processed either as an independent achromatic signal or as part of a trichromatic opponent-colour system. Thus, a potential confound of colour learning in insects is the possibility that modulation of the ‘green’ photoreceptor could underlie observations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We tested honeybee vision using light emitting diodes centered on 414 and 424 nm wavelengths, which limit activation to the short-wavelength-sensitive (‘UV’) and medium-wavelength-sensitive (‘blue’) photoreceptors. The absolute irradiance spectra of stimuli was measured and modelled at both receptor and colour processing levels, and stimuli were then presented to the bees in a Y-maze at a large visual angle (26°), to ensure chromatic processing. Sixteen bees were trained over 50 trials, using either appetitive differential conditioning (N = 8), or aversive-appetitive differential conditioning (N = 8). In both cases the bees slowly learned to discriminate between the target and distractor with significantly better accuracy than would be expected by chance. Control experiments confirmed that changing stimulus intensity in transfers tests does not significantly affect bee performance, and it was possible to replicate previous findings that bees do not learn similar colour stimuli with absolute conditioning. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that honeybee colour vision can be tuned to relatively small spectral differences, independent of ‘green’ photoreceptor contrast and brightness cues. We thus show that colour vision is at least partly experience dependent, and behavioural plasticity plays an important role in how bees exploit colour information.