ABS 2023
Social complexity affects social cognition in�Polistes fuscatus�wasp populations
Juanita Pardo Sanchez, So Eun Moon, Elizabeth Tibbetts. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIchigan, United States

The social intelligence hypothesis proposes that enhanced cognition is favored in species that live in socially complex societies. Cognition is a complex trait with multiple components that may vary independently or in concert. Thus far, we know little about whether social complexity influences social cognition specifically or multiple aspects of cognition. Here, we compare two populations of�Polistes fuscatus�wasps that differ in social complexity. Michigan wasps use individual facial recognition to manage social relationships, while Pennsylvania wasps do not.��We find that Michigan wasps are more adept at individual face learning than Pennsylvania wasps, consistent with previous work in the system. However, the populations perform similarly on other cognitive tasks, including reversal learning, associative odor learning, and odor long-term memory. Therefore, social complexity affects social cognition specifically and not other cognitive areas. These findings suggest that socially complex societies in�P. fuscatus�wasps may have selected for social cognition specifically.