Sunday July 21, 2019

Do Dogs have “Episodic Memory” ? Dogs Pay Attention to What you Say and Do and they’ll Remember too: Study

For the study, the team first trained 17 dogs to imitate human actions with the “Do as I Do” training method

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Dogs, Pixabay

London, November 24, 2016: For all dog owners out there, your canine friends are paying attention to what you say and do and they’ll remember too.

A new study has suggested that just like humans, dogs too have “episodic memory” — the ability to remember and recall events from the past.

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The study revealed that dogs can recall a person’s complex actions even when they don’t expect to have their memory tested.

[bctt tweet=”Just like humans, dogs too have “episodic memory” — the ability to remember and recall events from the past.” username=””]

“The results of our study can be considered as a further step to break down artificially erected barriers between animals and humans,” said Claudia Fugazza from Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary.

For the study, the team first trained 17 dogs to imitate human actions with the “Do as I Do” training method, in which dogs watch a person perform an action and then do the action themselves.

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For example, if their owner jumps in the air and then gives the “Do it!” command, the dog would jump in the air too.

Next, the dogs were trained to lie down after watching the human action, no matter what it was.

After the dogs had learned to lie down reliably, the researchers surprised them by saying “Do It” and the dogs did.

The dogs were then tested in that way after one minute and after one hour.

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The results showed they were able to recall the demonstrated actions after both short and long time intervals. However, their memory faded somewhat over time, the researchers observed.

The same approach can most likely be used and adapted in a wide range of animal species, to better understand how animals’ minds process their own actions and that of others around them, the researchers noted, in the study published in the journal Current Biology. (IANS)

  • Ruchika Kumari

    dogs are Human’s best friend…..and they are very intelligent too

Next Story

Petting Dogs, Cats Can Improve Students’ Mood: Study

These results were found even while considering that some students may have had very high or low levels to begin with

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The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

College is stressful. Students have classes, exams and so many other pressures common in modern life and now researchers have found that petting dogs and cats can improve students’ mood with stress-relieving physiological benefits, a study shows.

According to the study published in the journal AERA Open, many universities have instituted “Pet Your Stress Away” programmes, where students can come in and interact with cats and dogs.

“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact,” students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone,” said Patricia Pendry, Associate Professor at Washington State University.

The study involved 249 college students randomly divided into four groups. The first group received hands-on interaction in small groups with cats and dogs for 10 minutes. They could pet, play with and generally hang out with the animals as they wanted.

To compare effects of different exposures to animals, the second group observed other people petting animals while they waited in line for their turn. The third group watched a slideshow of the same animals available during the intervention, while the fourth group was “waitlisted”.

“Relations with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. They also provide older people with a sense of being needed and loved,” said Mary Janevic, researcher at the University of Michigan in the US.  Pixabay

According to the researchers, those students waited for their turn quietly for 10 minutes without their phones, reading materials or other stimuli, but were told they would experience animal interaction soon.

For the findings, several salivary cortisol samples were collected from each participant, starting in the morning when they woke up.

Once all the data was crunched from the various samples, the students who interacted directly with the pets showed significantly less cortisol in their saliva after the interaction.

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These results were found even while considering that some students may have had very high or low levels to begin with.

“What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way. And it did, which is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health,” Pendry said. (IANS)