The difference between Poorhouse and a cockroach narrows

Although no specific memory is held, there is every chance the Poorhouse has been called a "cockroach" in his short time on this planet so far. There is, as a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, at least one obvious similarity.

Both have brains that really do not work well in the morning.

Whilst the Poorhouse tends to be fiddling about with spreadsheets and other dull grey numbers thingies come 9AM (well, 9:10AM maybe), a bunch of cockroaches were given a far more complex task by Professor Page et al. Their task, should they have chosen to accept it which it appears they did, was to learn to associate lip-smackingly-tasty sugar water with the cockroach-hated smell of peppermint.

After learning the perceived correlation between sweet goodness and minty-freshness, the roaches generally started preferring the peppermint odour over that of the more universally appealing vanilla flavour. Their memory could then be tested in future by seeing which smell they prefer - if they had remembered their self-interested lesson then they would indicate preference for mint. If not, they'd likely go the vanilla.

The cockroaches were divided up into teams that would each be trained at various different times of the day. Those who had evening-time lessons could remember the "mint = nice" lesson for days on end. However, those thickies trained in the morning really couldn't be bothered to spend the time remembering anything at all, as far as the experimenters could see The seemed "totally incapable" of adding new information to their memory bank at all, although they did seem to remember a bit of stuff they'd done previously.

Says Poorhouse's boss the Prof:

It is very surprising that the deficit in the morning is so profound. An interesting question is why the animal would not want to learn at that particular time of day. We have no idea.

Although had the interview been carried out later in the day of course he might have had more of an idea (boom boom).


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