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Dogs Smarter Than Cats? New Study Says Dogs Have More Neurons

Dogs Smarter Than Cats? New Study Says Dogs Have More Neurons
Are dogs smarter than cats? Maybe, maybe not. (Easton Chen/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 30 November 2017 05:02 PM

The age-old debate about whether dogs are smarter than cats may have been settled by a new study. 

Researchers at Vanderbilt University counted the cortical neurons in the brains of dogs and cats, finding that dogs have about twice as many as cats, about 530 million to 250 million, ABC News reported, although scientists have said the density of neurons does impact cognitive ability, or intelligence.

The research was published in Frontiers of Neuroanatomy. It studied a total of eight kinds of mammals’ brains and found that the size of the brain did not necessarily mean more neurons, although this was usually the case.

The researchers admit not everyone will agree that dogs are smarter, although they are typically easier to train than cats.

“Any argument about their cognitive capabilities at this point will be largely a matter of opinion until direct, systematic comparisons of cognitive capacity are performed across these and other species,” the scientists wrote, People reported

“I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience,” Suzana Herculano-Houzel, the Vanderbilt psychology professor who oversaw the study, said, Fortune reported.

One golden retriever in the study had the highest number of neurons of any animal researchers looked at, with 627 million, People reported. 

Dog and cat owners had fun debating about the study’s findings on Twitter.

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The age-old debate about whether dogs are smarter than cats may have been settled by a new study.
dogs, smarter, cats, study
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2017-02-30
Thursday, 30 November 2017 05:02 PM
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