Monday August 26, 2019
Home World Archerfish ha...

Archerfish has the ability to recognize human faces: Study

In 2015, a study was done on Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis) where these fish could recognize facial differences among their own species with the aid of ultraviolet wavelengths

0
//
Archerfish. Image source: awesomeocean.com
  • The Archerfish can be trained to recognize faces
  • Prior to this discovery, it was thought to be impossible
  • Scientists trained them with treats

Humans differ from other species in every sense of the term. Our physique, our body composition, and our mental capacity makes us stand out from the rest of the creatures on this earth. It is particularly our mental capacity, and our cognitive thinking that makes us to feel superior to other species and with this type of mental strength we are able to recognize when we discover new facts, and admit wrongs.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

A recent study published in the journal “Scientific Reports,” shows that we were wrong about fish, or at least one specific fish. The Archerfish, scientifically known as the Toxotes chatareus, which can actually be trained to recognize a human face.

Prior to this discovery, it was a universal fact that fish do not have a neocortex. The neocortex is a part of the brain in mammals. That is why this find is so interesting. When scientists look at the neocortex in mammals such as rats it is a smooth gray matter. When l we look at the neocortex in more advanced specifies such as humans and primates, it has grooves and these grooves increase the area of the neocortex. The responsibilities of the neocortex are as follows, sensory perception, motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and language in humans.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook: NewsGram.com

The Archerfish has the ability to recognize patterns. When thoroughly trained, the fish can differentiate between two photographs of people, and with astonishing accuracy. Scientists chose the Archerfish because it spits water, allowing scientists to understand what it was trying to communicate.

The scientists used operant conditioning to train the fish. They presented pictures of faces to the fish and taught them to distinguish between the two, and choose one over the other. When they chose the correct face, the fish were rewarded with fish feed. This process was repeated for days and up to two weeks.

The accuracy of the fish shocked scientists. The fish were correct 81% of the time. The stunned scientists further when their accuracy increased to 86% when the pictures were changed a bit in regards to color tones and head shapes. The fish simply look for patterns among the faces.

Other studies like this one have been conducted in the past. In 2015, a study was done on Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis). This research found that these fish could recognize facial differences among their own species with the aid of ultraviolet wavelengths. It is thought that they use this facial recognition tool to communicate with each other silently, keeping predators in the dark.

-by Abigail Andrea, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @abby_kono

ALSO READ:

Next Story

Microplastics Contained in Drinking Water Pose “Low” Risk to Human Health at Current Levels

Microplastics enter drinking water sources mainly through run-off and wastewater effluent, the WHO said

0
FILE - Bags filled with caps are pictured at the Association Bouchon d'Amour, which collects and recycles plastic caps in Martignas-Sur-Jalles, near Bordeaux, France, Nov. 23, 2018. VOA

Microplastics contained in drinking water pose a “low” risk to human health at current levels, but more research is needed to reassure consumers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.

Studies over the past year on plastic particles detected in tap and bottled water have sparked public concerns, but the limited data appears reassuring, the U.N. agency said its first report on potential health risks associated with ingestion.

Microplastics enter drinking water sources mainly through run-off and wastewater effluent, the WHO said. Evidence shows that microplastics found in some bottled water seem to be at least partly because of the bottling process and/or packaging such as plastic caps, it said.

“The headline message is to reassure drinking water consumers around the world, that based on this assessment, our assessment of the risk is that it is low,” Bruce Gordon of the WHO’s department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health, told a briefing.

Microplastics, Drinking Water, Human
Microplastics contained in drinking water pose a “low” risk to human health at current levels, but more research is needed to reassure consumers. Pixabay

What happens to plastic in the body?

The WHO did not recommended routine monitoring for microplastics in drinking water. But research should focus on issues including what happens to chemical additives in the particles once they enter the gastrointestinal tract, it said.

The majority of plastic particles in water are larger than 150 micrometres in diameter and are excreted from the body, while “smaller particles are more likely to cross the gut wall and reach other tissues,” it said.

Health concerns have centered around smaller particles, said Jennifer De France, a WHO technical expert and one of the report’s authors.

Also Read- Environmental and Animal Rights Groups Suing Trump Administration Over Changes to Endangered Species Act

“For these smallest size particles, where there is really limited evidence, we need know more about what is being absorbed, the distribution and their impacts,” she said.

More research is needed into risks from microplastics exposure throughout the environment — “in our drinking water, air and food,” she added.

Alice Horton, a microplastics researcher at Britain’s National Oceanography Centre, said in a statement on the WHO’s findings: “There are no data available to show that microplastics pose a hazard to human health, however this does not necessarily mean that they are harmless.”

“It is important to put concerns about exposure to microplastics from drinking water into context: we are widely exposed to microplastics in our daily lives via a wide number of sources, of which drinking water is just one,” she added.

Microplastics, Drinking Water, Human
Studies over the past year on plastic particles detected in tap and bottled water have sparked public concerns, but the limited data appears reassuring, the U.N. agency said its first report. Pixabay

A credit card’s worth a week

Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card, a study commissioned by the environmental charity WWF International said in June. That study said the largest source of plastic ingestion was drinking water, but another major source was shellfish.

The biggest overall health threat in water is from microbial pathogens, including from human and livestock waste entering water sources, that cause deadly diarrhea disease, especially in poor countries lacking water treatment systems, the WHO said.

Also Read- Microsoft Contractors can Listen to Xbox Players’ Chats: Report

About 2 billion people drink water contaminated with feces, causing nearly 1 million deaths annually, Gordon said, adding: “That has got to be the focus of regulators around the world.” (VOA)