In a study conducted at the University of Eotvos Lorànd, researchers from the Department of Ethology examined how dogs interpret human gestures, comparing them to children. The findings of this research have shed new light on the minds of our furry companions and their ability to process information.
The phenomenon known as “spatial bias” refers to the way individuals interpret information in relation to space. For example, when we show children and dogs the location of an object, children interpret the gesture as an indication of the object, while dogs take it as a direction.
This study has delved into this difference in depth, testing 82 dogs in behavioral tasks that evaluated their ability to learn the location of a reward relative to the characteristics of an object. The results revealed that “smarter” dogs learned faster, suggesting a connection between their cognitive abilities and their ability to interpret information in more detail.
To understand whether this “spatial bias” is related to a sensory or cognitive issue, researchers measured the dogs’ head length, which correlates with visual acuity, and subjected them to cognitive tests. The results showed that dogs with better visual and cognitive abilities showed a reduced “spatial bias”.
In conclusion, this study provides insight into how our canine companions process information and suggests that their ability to interpret information goes beyond simple vision. This new understanding may lead to new perspectives on how dogs think and improve our relationship with these intelligent creatures.