from the urls-we-dig-up dept
If you watch pets closely enough and for long enough, you might get a sense that animals can understand certain cues from people and that they sometimes try to communicate their wishes to people. Certainly not all pets are intelligent, but it’s a common experience for many people. Wild animals aren’t so different from their domesticated cousins, so it should maybe not be surprising that various wild animals are intelligent in some ways. Here are just a few links on the growing evidence of advanced animal cognition.
- A bunch of dogs were trained to sit still in a functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scanner, and their brain scans show that dog brains have a special area dedicated to processing voices and meaningful sounds. Dogs and people have remarkably similar brain reactions to happy sounds (eg. baby giggles) and unhappy sounds (eg. coughing) which could partly explain why our species get along so well. [url]
- PBS has a 3-part NOVA series — Inside Animal Minds — on the intelligence of animals. The 3-hour series covers tool use, communication skills, emotional intelligence, problem-solving abilities and social behaviors of a variety of wild and domesticated animals. [url]
- Pigeons can learn to categorize various items and exhibit selective attention. Laboratory pigeons were able to distinguish computer-generated images and respond with appropriate pecking on a touchscreen. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.