Facial recognition changes a wasp’s brain

December 31, 1969 |

Believe it or not, a certain species of paper wasp is believed to have facial recognition ability. How exactly is that ability reflected in the wasps' brains? That's what Ali Berens, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences set out to explore in her new study. By running paper wasps through some recognition exercises of faces and patterns and then studying the DNA in their brains, Berens and coworkers found more than 200 genes that were active during facial recognition.