Dogs are more intelligent than cats, neuron-counting study concludes
02 December, 2017, 01:33 | Author: Edward Snyder
The paper also assessed the number of cortical neurons that can be crammed into a particular brain size and results stated that dogs have a much stronger brainpower than animals which actually have larger brain size.
The researchers found that dogs have "about twice as many neurons in the cerebral cortex [as] cats do", said Herculano-Houzel.
As far as dogs and cats go, the study found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million.
The study, published in Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, analyzed the neurons of eight carnivorous animals - cats, dogs, brown bears, lions, raccoons, ferrets, mongoose and hyenas.
"We did not study their behavior, so we can not (and do not) make any claims about how intelligent they are", researcher Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University, told HuffPost in an email. The Internet is full of dog and cat videos and memes. With this ability, she and other researchers started counting neurons across the animal kingdom - first in rats, then other rodents, then primates, now a whole slew of animals.
The good news for cat lovers is that cats have about the same number of those neurons as bears even though a bear's brain is about ten times larger.
Leaving many hurt, science has revealed that dogs are, in fact, smarter than cats.
Closest to the dogs mental development are raccoons, in which the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex is in the range of 500 million.
"At the least, we now have some biology that people can factor into their discussions about who's smarter, cats or dogs".
Our findings showed that dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can " said Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Professor at the Universidade Federal, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The study's findings also challenge the prevailing view that domesticated animals have smaller brains than their wild cousins.
Herculano-Houzel herself admits that, while the study was objective, she herself does have a bit of a bias.
According to the neuroscientist, studying the brains of different species teaches an important lesson: "Diversity is enormous". Yes, there are recognizable patterns, but there are multiple ways that nature has found of putting brains together.
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