Speaker: Krista Macpherson, MS
Description: Over the past 10 years, psychological research has taken a renewed and increasing interest in the domestic dog. While this species was once considered “artificial” due to domestication, many researchers now argue that their unique relationship with humans is precisely what makes dogs such an interesting topic of study. Many dog owners assume that dogs are exceptionally intelligent animals…but how much do we really know about their cognitive ability at this point? How smart are dogs? What are the implications of our close social relationship with dogs for psychological research?
This lecture will present findings from 3 areas of study that may contradict typical beliefs about canine cognition. In the first set of experiments, we staged false emergencies to test whether or not a dog would attempt to save an owner who appeared to be experiencing an emergency situation. In two other sets of experiments, we tested numerical discrimination, or “counting” in dogs, as well as spatial memory. The performance of dogs in these experiments proved to be very different from has been observed previously in other species. The findings from these three very different areas of research will be integrated into a general discussion of the study of cognition in domestic dogs.
Recorded: February, 2014
2 CCPDT (CBCC-KA or CPDT-KA)
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