Fruitflies Evolve Number Sense

July 10, 2012
US and Canadian researchers, including EEMB professor William Rice, have evolved a population of fruitflies that can count. The result, presented on 9 July at the First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa, Canada, supports the notion that the neural mechanisms underlying basic arithmetic skills first emerged hundreds of millions of years ago. It could also eventually offer a key to understanding why some people have problems with numbers.