Domestication reduced the cognitive abilities of dogs
Scientists from the University of Nijmegen after a series of experiments with wolves and dogs found that four-footed assistants of the person unlike the wolves can’t find a connection between cause and effect. According to researchers, domestication had a negative impact on cognitive abilities of dogs. Details can be found in Scientific Reports.
“Children learn early to find a causal connection. For example, a child understands that if you touch hot stove, get burned. The results of the study showed that wolves also understand causal relationships, but our domesticated four-legged friends this ability can not boast,” — said study author Michelle Lamp.
The researchers examined 14 dogs and 12 wolves, living in almost identical conditions. The animal had to choose one of two boxes. In the first there was food, and the other was empty. This man was sent by look and gesture pointing in the direction of the boxes with food.
And dogs, and the wolves understood the gestures of a man, and chose the box with the treat. But when the man left, for food thought to go only wolves.
In this experiment the wolves realized the causal link, dog with a mission failed. We believe that domestication had a negative impact on cognitive abilities of dogs. Likely, the wolves showed more persistence in learning, because wild animals have to constantly contrive to find food.Michelle Lineafter research