Health Editor’s Note: I am fairly certain, from a personal perspective. that dogs and cats for that matter process way more thinking and figuring out power than they are given credit for. They also possess the ability to anticipate sounds and motions that we or their canine and feline brothers and sisters offer. Try moving toward the front door here without a couple of girls beating you to the door. When putting on either sock, shoes, coat there must first be a “You are going to stay here” before the dance of “we are going outside or get to go in the car.” Some times spelling does not even work. Pure elation and joy at the thought of getting to go!…..Carol
Dogs’ Brains Naturally Process Numbers, Just Like Ours
by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com
Sit. Stay. Fetch. Count?
Sort of. A team of scientists has found that dogs naturally process numbers in a similar brain region as humans, reports Virginia Morell for Science. While that doesn’t mean mutts can do math, it seems they have an innate sense of quantity, and may take notice when you put fewer treats in their bowl, according to a study published this week in Biology Letters.
Importantly, while other research has delved into similar stunts that scientists coaxed out of canines by rewarding them with treats, the new study suggests a knack for numbers is present in even untrained dogs—and could have deep evolutionary roots. This supports the idea that the ways in which animals process quantity in their brains may be “ancient and widespread among species,” Michael Beran, a psychologist at Georgia State University who wasn’t involved in the research, tells Morell.
To test pooches’ numerical prowess, a team led by Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University, scanned the brains of 11 dogs of different breeds as they gazed at screens serially flashing different numbers of variably-sized dots. As the images flipped rapidly past, the researchers looked for activity in a region of the canine brain……Read More: