Scientists have learned how dogs perceive their toys

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from Hungary conducted an experiment and found out how dogs perceive the image of their toys.

Dogs are considered one of the most intelligent animals: they have developed memorization skills, they are able to recognize and adequately respond to human gestures and instructions, and understand voice commands. In addition, these animals can deceive and yearn for dead relatives.

A new study by scientists from the Eötvös University of Budapest (Hungary) was aimed at how four-legged friends perceive the image of their toys. The researchers presented the results of their work in the journal Animal Cognition.

The scientists hypothesized that the senses that dogs use to identify objects (such as toys) reflect how they are represented in the animal’s mind.

“If we can understand what senses dogs use when searching for a toy, we will find out what they think about it,” said Shani Dror, the first author of the work.

Previous research has shown that gifted dogs are able to remember the names of several toys. The new study involved three animals from past experiments.

The scientists also recruited ten new participants who had not previously been trained to memorize the names of objects. During training, all dogs were praised and rewarded for choosing the “right” toys.

After that, the authors of the work observed how the animals searched for the right one among four others. This exercise was repeated both in the light and in the dark.

All participants successfully completed the task both with the lights on and with the lights off. However, it took them longer to find the toys in the dark.

In the second part of the experiment, only three gifted dogs participated, which also successfully passed all the tests, finding the right toy both with and without light.

The purpose of this part of the study was to understand what dogs think about when they hear familiar toy names and how this fact affects the success of the search in comparison with ordinary dogs.

The scientists learned that both groups of animals recalled different sensory features of the toys, apparently forming a “multisensory mental image” of the toy to identify it in the dark. In the light, both dogs relied more on sight, and in its absence, on smell and sensory.

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