A recent study from the University of Eotvos Lorànd has shed light on how dogs interpret human gestures, providing valuable insights into their cognitive abilities. Researchers from the Department of Ethology compared the way dogs and children process information in relation to space, a phenomenon known as “spatial bias.”
The study found that while both dogs and children interpret gestures related to space, dogs tend to focus on the direction rather than the location of an object. However, a specific study has now explored this difference in detail, revealing that it is not just a matter of vision but reflects the way dogs think.
Researchers tested 82 dogs in behavioral tasks evaluating their ability to learn the location of a reward relative to the characteristics of an object. The results showed that “smart” dogs learned faster, suggesting a connection between their cognitive abilities and their ability to interpret information in more detail.
To understand whether spatial bias is related to sensory or cognitive issues, researchers measured the dogs’ head length, which correlates with visual acuity, and subjected them to cognitive tests. The findings revealed that dogs with better visual and cognitive abilities showed a reduced spatial bias.
In conclusion, this study highlights the complex nature of dog cognition and sheds light on how they interpret information beyond simple vision. Understanding how our furry friends process information can lead to new perspectives on how they think and communicate with us.