Study determines dogs may be smarter than cats


The scientist who devised the method of counting these neurons is open about having a dog in the hunt.

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. Neurons are cells that process information.

"You take the brain and turn it into a soup", she said, matter-of-factly, as the first step to finding these neurons. As if one is better, or one of the two animal species are superior.

In each of the dogs' brains, despite varying in size, researchers found about 500 million neurons, more than double the 250 million found in the cat's brain.

Researchers studied the cortical neurons in the brains of cats, dogs, and other animals to determine intelligence. That may help them wield their hefty trunks.

A new study gives dog owners solid scientific evidence that dogs really are smarter than cats.

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Of course, such an arbitrary measurement of the brain is not an objective metric of such a complex trait as intelligence.

In addition, the researchers determined that the ratio of neurons to brain size in small-and medium-sized carnivores was about the same as that of herbivores, suggesting that there is just as much evolutionary pressure on the herbivores to develop the brain power to escape from predators as there is on carnivores to catch them.

The research was done in the lab of Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University.

"It's not a larger body that explains the number of neurons you have", she said.

Carnivorous animals were compared in the study, consisting of 280 species of mammals characterized by teeth and claws allowing them to eat animals.

Lead Image: Brewster, the akita/pitbull mix, smiles for the camera.