Study determines dogs may be smarter than cats

Study determines dogs may be smarter than cats

Study determines dogs may be smarter than cats

Well, science now has a definitive answer.

"We definitely need more research on this topic before we can definitively state how meaningful brain size is as a measure of intelligence across different animal groups", she said.

One of the most intelligent non-primate animals the research team has studied are elephants, which have 5.6 billion neurons.

The study was funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation; the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fund at Randolph-Macon College; the Vice Deanship of Research Chairs at the King Saud University; the National Research Foundation of South Africa; and Brazilian crowdfunding contributors.

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The paper, which will be published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy (and nearly certainly maligned on Reddit, the Internet's haven for cat lovers), notes that the physical size of the brain doesn't necessarily relate to overall intelligence.

The study was based on a new method for accurate measurement of the number of neurons in the brain, was developed by Susan Gerbino-Housel associate Professor of psychology and biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University.

Until recently, scientists interested in comparing intelligence across species were limited to using brain size as an indicator. Herculano-Houzel herself admits that, while the study was objective, she herself does have a bit of a bias.

They found cats have 250 million neurons while dogs have 530 million. A 15-pound mixed-breed dog's has 429 million. Though Herculano-Houzel notes they also have higher-than-typical neuron counts in their cerebellums, the part of the brain that controls motor skills.

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One of the key questions the study hoped to answer was whether carnivores have more brain neurons than the herbivorous species they prey upon, with the researchers hypothesising that they should because hunting is cognitively more demanding.

It can be a first date deal breaker, and provoke some very strong reactions, but the rivalry has blessed humanity with at least one good thing - Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore. Now, it's just a matter of who breaks the news to Garfield.

And there you have it.

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