Science does not lie: dogs are smarter than cats. After counting-literally-every neuron in their brains, a group of scientists found that dogs have many more than cute kittens.
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Scientists (who later accepted that they are dog lovers, but we will ignore that part) found that although the brains of dogs are not larger, but they do have more than twice as many gray cells, which are the hallmark of intelligence.
Dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons, while cats have about 250 million.
The study, from the University of Vanderbilt in the United States, is the first to carefully count the number of cortical neurons in the brain-those responsible for issues related to thinking, planning and complex behaviors.
Professor Suzana Herculano-Houzel, who was one of the pioneers in quantifying the number of neurons in the brain, said: “I believe that the total number of neurons that an animal has determines the richness of its mental state and its ability to predict what is about to happen around him through his experience. ”
This also means that they have the biological capacity to do things that are much more complex and flexible with their lives than the cats, to whom it seems that the only thing that matters to them is being stuck in garbage cans.
The scientists also observed the brains of one or two specimens of each of the eight carnivorous species: ferret, mongoose, raccoon, cat, dog, hyena, lion and brown bear.
The results of the investigation revealed that the brain of a golden retriever has more neurons than a hyena, a lion or a brown bear, even though they have brains up to three times larger.
Scientists work on the theory that domesticated animals have brains smaller than their wild cousins, and that carnivores have brains larger than herbivores.
This is because wild carnivorous mammals need brains larger than herbivores to hunt, since tracking prey is demanding, cognitively speaking, and requires planning.
The study findings also question the prevailing view that domesticated animals have smaller brains than their wild cousins.
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