A study conducted by a Norwegian scientist at the Arizona State University has
found that bees can become mentally young again by making few alterations to
their fixed routine.
Scientists examined the learning and memory and also analyzed proteins involved in growth, repair and maintenance of brain in young bees. They found that there is division of labor between the young and older bees. The young bees tend to brood the larva in the hive while older bees go in search for nectar and pollen. Similarly, there is a difference between the two groups in the learning abilities and memory. Younger bees are more capable in making connections between a stimulus and a reward and they remember this connection for a longer time. But older bees have a short term memory and learning. This result suggests that older bees might be experiencing dementia.
However researchers noticed that by switching the tasks between the bees, as in putting older bees with the brood, there was a rapid alternation in both their learning abilities and memory. This social change also reflected in changes in expression of eight proteins in the brains of the older bees. This study holds significance as several of these proteins are found in humans also which suggests that humans too could have a similar potential of reversing the aging process. Further studies will have to be carried out in this direction.