Dog and cat owners often argue about the intelligence of their four-legged peers. Of course, we all like to think that our Cirmink or Buksink is the smartest animal in the world who can return the ball or just hit it. Can this old controversy be resolved? Which species is smarter: the dog or the cat?
There is no point in talking about the relative intelligence of species
The current state of science has shown that the answer is not as simple as loving animal owners would like.
Researchers in dogs’ cognitive functions do not study “intelligence” per se, but only study different aspects of cognition. — Alexandra Horowitz, a senior researcher in dog identification at Barnard College in New York, said:inside a dogAuthor of What Dogs See, Smell and Know Live Science An online science portal that questions the human habit of comparing intelligence between species. “The simplest way I can describe it is that cats are smart about what cats have to do and dogs are smart about what dogs have to do.
He added that he said,It makes no sense to talk about the relative intelligence of speciesI,” Brian Hare, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, agrees with this assessment and approach.
Asking if dogs are smarter than cats is like asking if a hammer is a better tool than a screwdriver. Brian Hare confirmed. The answer always depends on the purpose for which it was designed.
Most researchers agree with this approach.
Human attention can change cats
Of course, this does not mean that researchers in animal behavior have made no attempt whatsoever to measure the intelligence of dogs and cats, and more specifically, cognitive abilities beyond what is necessary to sustain life.
Animal intelligence is generally divided into three main areas: problem solving on the one hand, visualization on the other, the ability to form general concepts from concrete experience, and social intelligence on the third. explained Kristen Vitale, assistant professor of veterinary medicine and behavior at Unity College in Maine.
Vitaly studies cats primarily and is currently focusing on the “inner lives” of cats on the topic of social intelligence. As he said, cats often seem aloof because they sometimes get away from humans because sometimes we don’t really care about them. who – which
“Cats actually display a very high level of social intelligence, often on the same level as dogs.”
Studies show, for example, that cats can distinguish their names from words that sound alike. Scientists have also shown that they prefer interacting with humans over food, toys, and smells.
Studies show that human attention itself can alter cat behavior: a behavioral processes A 2019 study published in a scientific journal found that when someone kept caring and caring for a cat, the animal spent more time with that person responding.
Brain size ‘dictates’ relative intelligence
In one rare study, researchers directly compared cats and dogs, with professionals finding no significant difference between the species’ ability to find hidden food under human supervision. However, scientists note that
“Cats lack some components of attention-grabbing behavior compared to dogs.”
But research shows that brain size should not be forgotten. As we have indicated, there is a widespread notion that brain size “dictates” relative intelligence, and if this is true in all cases, dogs are the winner.
Brian Hare and Evan MacLean, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona, recruited more than fifty researchers from around the world to conduct an experiment that applied the test they developed on 550 animal species, including In birds, monkeys, anthropoids, dogs, lemurs, and elephants. The initial idea was that the researchers tested a cognitive trait, self-control, or a function they called “inhibitory control.”
Dogs and cats are treated completely differently
a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Published in their 2014 study in a scientific journal, their test was an animal version of the popular marshmallow test, in which psychologists at Stanford University put a preschooler in a separate room at a table and placed marshmallows in front of them. He was told that if he did not touch him for 15 minutes, he would have a second and then he could eat both.
An interspecies study showed that the larger the animal’s brain, the greater the restraint in the “animal marshmallow” test. Hare explained. Self-control is a sign of higher cognitive functions.
But there is a snag: Cats weren’t included in this test, so while we can guess based on the size of our brains how they performed, we don’t really know the answer. In addition, Vitaly said that it is worth noting in such an intelligent assessment that dogs and cats are treated completely differently.
For example, dogs are often able to socialize well and even go to a dog school with their owner, such as driving and going to the dog park. The researcher noted. Cat owners can give their cats less of these types of socialization and training opportunities.
So who will win in the end? According to science, it is best to simply appreciate the special intelligence of our pet, especially the good social intelligence that makes them cute companions.
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