Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dogs Hear 'Get the Ball!' Differently Than You

Dogs can learn the names of objects, but they likely focus on different features when learning words than humans do, new research finds.

When toddlers learn words for objects, they focus on shape. This means that once your kid gets that a tennis ball is called a "ball," they're quick to realize the same word applies to beach balls, basketballs and golf balls.

Kids wouldn't, however, assume that a stuffed teddy bear is a ball just because it has the same fuzzy texture as a tennis ball. Nor would they call something a ball just because it is the same size as the balls they are familiar with. This tendency to categorize objects based on shape above other features is called "shape bias."

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