Are dogs smarter than cats? Science finally has its verdict

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A team of researchers found out that dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have. Neurons are cells that process information. And so, the more neurons an animal has, the better its information processing capability, these scientists say.

This study was conducted by researchers from six universities in the United States, Brazil, Denmark and South Africa. Until recently, scientists interested in comparing intelligence across species were limited to using brain size as an indicator.

“My lab developed a very simple, fast and inexpensive method to count cells in brains and brain parts in 2005” said Herculano-Houzel, an professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University involving in this research.

What they found is that a cat’s cerebral cortex has 250 million neurons. A 15-pound mixed-breed dog’s has 429 million. When they looked at a 64-pound golden retriever, the count was even higher: 627 million. For comparison, the number of neutrons of humans, the most cognitively able, is as many as 16 billion. Among our closest cousins, orangutans and gorillas have about 8 to 9 billion neurons while chimanzees have about 6 to 7 billion neurons.

And there you have the scientific data to end this age-old debate!


Source: CNN, National Geographic


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