Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Cats may be as intelligent as dogs, say scientists

By Helen Briggs BBC News

25 January 2017

The idea that dogs are more intelligent than cats has been called into question.

Japanese scientists say cats are as good as dogs at certain memory tests, suggesting they may be just as smart.

A study - involving 49 domestic cats - shows felines can recall memories of pleasant experiences, such as eating a favourite snack.

Dogs show this type of recollection - a unique memory of a specific event known as episodic memory.

Humans often consciously try to reconstruct past events that have taken place in their lives, such as what they ate for breakfast, their first day in a new job or a family wedding.

These memories are linked with an individual take on events, so they are unique to that person.

Have you got a clever cat or dog? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your pictures and videos.

Saho Takagi, a psychologist at Kyoto University, said cats, as well as dogs, used memories of a single past experience, which may imply they have episodic memory similar to that of humans.

"Episodic memory is viewed as being related to introspective function of the mind; our study may imply a type of consciousness in cats," she told BBC News. Image copyright T Allen Image caption Do cats enjoy remembering past experiences?

"An interesting speculation is that they may enjoy actively recalling memories of their experience like humans."



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