Are cats or dogs smarter?
I. Are cats smarter than dogs? Quantitative data suggests just the opposite
Cats and dogs are the most common pets in the world today, and according to the 2019 China Pet Market Survey Report, the number of pet cats and dogs in cities and towns alone is as high as 99.15 million, of which 44.12 million are cats and 55.03 million are dogs, and that's not counting rural ones, which would be even larger if rural data were counted.
When it comes to cats and dogs, we always have an endless conversation, and all the pooper scoopers are always happy to talk about such topics, including the discussion on who is smarter, cats and dogs, in a host of topics have a high degree of heat.
Cats and dogs are two animals with very different personalities, cats are cold and seemingly impersonal, even if the pooper scooper takes the initiative to interact with it, the cat seems to be an attitude of indifference. In contrast, the dog is another scene, it is quite enthusiastic about the owner, willing and active interaction with people, the two pet experience, each with its own characteristics, can not say which is better.
From the daily behavior and attitude of the pet, cats do seem to be more intelligent, so the majority of people believe that cats are smarter than dogs, but is this really the case?
Measuring an animal's intelligence is not simple
Measuring the intelligence of animals is never a simple matter, and it is not like measuring human intelligence to come up with some fixed questions to assess. Researchers have done an experiment, they gathered some cats and dogs, put opaque cups upside down on the floor, one of the cups with food, the other is empty, the researcher pointed his finger to the cup with food, found that most of the dogs can quickly understand the human gesture, and accurately get the food, while most of the cats are very uncooperative, they seem to ignore the researcher, self-conscious playing or simply resting on their backs, leading to a stagnation of the experiment.
Later, the researchers considered that the unfamiliar environment might be very uncomfortable for the cats and placed the experiment in their homes, and found that the cats were also able to obtain food according to human gestures.
From the results of this experiment, people may feel that cats and dogs are probably as smart, but cats due to the personality, not as enthusiastic as dogs, the attitude toward things around them is different. But is this really the case? This experiment seems to be so at first glance, but in fact, it does not stand up to scrutiny.
First of all, there is a problem with the way the experiment was conducted, most domestic dogs are friendly to humans and cheerful and like to interact with people, plus the daily interaction between the shovelers and the dogs, even if the dogs have not experienced professional training, do not know what the gesture means, but out of instinctive reaction, they are willing to try to respond, which explains why most of the dogs will be positive to the researcher's gesture to make This explains why most of the dogs responded positively to the researcher's gestures and thus received food.
Cats, on the other hand, are essentially a feline, naturally solitary and unapproachable, plus pooper scoopers interact less with cats than dogs, so they are less willing to cooperate with human responses, which explains why the experiment was able to continue in the cat's home.
Secondly this experiment lacks some quantitative analysis, from the results of the experiment, cats end up showing similar behavior to dogs, but on closer examination, if the corresponding threshold is not reached, the results are very misleading.
How to understand it? It simply means that when a college student who has studied calculus, and an elementary school student who is still in elementary school and whose math skills are limited to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, they work together on an addition and subtraction problem within 100, and both end up with the same answer, so we conclude that they are just as good at math! This is obviously not true, and is a very serious mistake, so that the previous "cup experiment" can not detect who is smarter, or even whether they are equally smart.
Measuring the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex is by far the most scientific way
So how do you know who is smarter, cats or dogs? The most effective way to measure an animal's IQ is to measure the number of neurons in the brain. In the realm of biology, neurons are the basic information processing units, and the greater the number, the greater the information processing ability, which simply means the greater the cognitive ability, which means the smarter.
At one time, even now, many people still use the relative size and structural complexity of the brain as an important measure of intelligence, and in real life, it seems that many so-called evidence can be found, for example, the larger the relative size of the brain of carnivores, the better they are able to handle changes in the external world, the more adaptable they are to the environment, and the better they are able to process.
But in fact, the size of the brain volume is not a good representative of IQ, because the same relative volume size of the brain, the number of neurons may be different, simply put is the same size of the carton stacked full of a house, if the gap between the cartons is wide, then only a small number of boxes can be stacked full of the room, if the gap is small, then you need to use a greater number of cartons. Here we can understand the room as the brain and the cartons as neurons.
Although the way to measure neurons is not necessarily correct, but in the current level of science, this way is currently the most scientific and effective way.
The number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of an adult with normal intelligence is about 16 billion, which varies slightly from individual to individual, but is about the same overall.
Among primates, the number of neurons in the chimpanzee cerebral cortex is 6-7 billion, indicating that their IQ is equivalent to that of a 3-4 year old child, which is consistent with what we observe in real life. Chimpanzees are relatively intelligent beings in the primate and animal world as a whole, and they know how to use tools to obtain food, and can maintain a mother-child relationship for a long time, even after splitting up the group still from time to time "back to the group to visit the mother", a phenomenon that rarely happens in animals.
Dogs have more than twice the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex than cats
Based on this prerequisite, scientists in the United States and some other countries have measured and analyzed the number of neurons in the brains of cats and dogs, and finally concluded that the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of both large and small dogs is about 500 million.
Scientists analyzed the brains of a golden retriever, a small dog and a cat, and found that the neuron content of the cat was only 250 million, while the average neuron content of the dog was as high as 528 million, more than twice the number of the cat, indicating that the dog's ability to process information is much higher than that of the cat, which is consistent with the phenomena we observe in daily life, such as after a simple training of the dog, able to recognize A large number of simple gestures in daily life, for example.
According to the analysis of the number of neurons, elephants have 5.6 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex, indicating that they are the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom after primates, in line with our perceptions.
In addition, people also analyzed a lion weighing 180 kg, its neuron content in the cerebral cortex of 545 million, a brown bear weighing 350 kg, the number of neurons in its cerebral cortex of 251 million, indicating that the intelligence of dogs may be similar to that of animals such as lions, while the intelligence of cats is similar to that of animals such as brown bears.
Some may ask, the content of neurons in the brain is not like peanuts, can be spread out to count one by one, how do humans know the content of neurons in the cerebral cortex of animals? Although the process is very complex, but the level of science has developed to this point, can do this kind of experiment or many institutions.
In simple terms, we isolate suspended nuclei from neurons in the cerebral cortex, measure the number of suspended nuclei per unit volume, estimate the number of all suspended nuclei, and finally estimate the number of neurons, although there is a certain amount of error in the process, but the error is controlled within a small range, we can get a more accurate value.
Through the study of neurons in the cerebral cortex, we will find that although dogs show certain "dumb" attributes in daily life, especially huskies, which are known for their stupidity, and most cats look more calm and sophisticated, giving the impression that cats are much smarter than dogs, in front of quantitative data, dogs The neuronal content of the cerebral cortex is much higher than that of cats, which means that dogs have a stronger ability to process information, cognitive ability and adaptability to the environment than cats, which means that dogs are smarter, as the saying goes.
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