Dogs or Cats, Who are Smarter: We Finally Have the Actual Answer

Vanderbilt study determines dogs may be smarter than cats

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Dogs were found to have 530 million cortical neurons compared to cats with only about 250 million. For example, the Golden Retriever had more cortical neurons than a brown bear whose brain is three times larger than that of a dog, the number of neurons in the bear approximately equal to the number counted in cats.

They might chew your shoes, occasionally pee on the rug, or snarf down your entire dinner the minute you turn your head, but it turns out your family dog is measurably smarter than your cat. "We humans have twice the cortical neurons that gorillas have; dogs, as we found out, have about twice the cortical neurons that cats have". A team of researchers from six different universities in the U.S., Brazil, Denmark, and South Africa contributed to the research. To get as precise a measurement as possible, she starts by counting neurons, a special type of nerve cell found in the brain that transmits messages.

Raccoons, despite having cat-sized brains, have neuron numbers more similar to dogs, making them similar to primates in neuronal density, according to the study.

The number of neurons present in an animal also regulates "richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen...based on past experience", the researchers added.

The SMS text message turns 25 today
The message " Merry Christmas " was typed on a PC, but was received on a mobile, so the owner was unable to reply, at that time. SMS still has a future, though, because it works where very few data standards will work, Ms Bruton says.

"Whatever species has the most neurons in the cerebral cortex is therefore expected to be capable of more complex and flexible behavior, said Herculano-Houzel, who gave the disclaimer she is "100 percent a dog person".

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

Small and medium-sized carnivores were found to have a roughly similar brain size-to-neuron ratio as the animals they preyed upon, suggesting that to escape predators herbivores had to develop just as much brain power as the animals trying to catch them.

Latest News