STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists who have lately analyzed the behavior of dogs were able to establish that these amazing animals have a every good memory, being more developed than we had expected. On November 23, the new study was published in the Current Biology magazine. The new research collected data that proved dogs can remember things without being instructed to do it.
Based on the data revealed by the scientists from MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group and Eotvos Lorand University, episodic-like memory is a part of our brain which was also discovered in dogs’ brain. Thus, our pets are capable of constructing their memories.
For us, episodic memory allows us to remember specific things which happened in specific places at a particular time. This involves self-awareness, being conscious of our facts and the events we have participated in. Claudia Fugazza, who is the lead author of the research, has claimed that our episodic memory was bonded to our characteristic which implies self-awareness. Scientists did not prove that dogs are self-aware, but they called their memory episodic-like memory.
To develop the study, experts have tested 17 dogs by using the technique which challenges animals to repeat the actions of their owners. This training method was meant to train dogs to imitate the actions of a person.
Firstly, a dog was witnessing a variety of activities being developed by its owner. After this, the trainer asked the dog to repeat the same sequence of actions by giving it the command “do it!”. However, scientists have agreed to add one more stage to the research. After the pet had laid down on the mat as a sign it understood the command; the owner performed an entirely new action which was not presented to the dog before. For example, the trainer touched an umbrella.
To test the memory of the dog regarding the last action, the trainer took the umbrella away from the visual field of the dog, helping at its distraction. Previously, the dog was taught to lie on the mat when it received the command “do it!”. Now, after seeing the trick with the umbrella, when the dog heard “do it!” again, he went to touch the umbrella.
The conclusion is that dogs can remember some things on which he was not concentrated upon. The umbrella trick represented an “incidental encoding” which helped the dog perform the actions of the owner, without being instructed to remember that action.
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