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So thank you, dogs are human's best friends.
They can do so many amazing things like tricks.
Those are great at learning tricks, they can learn things like, sit roll, give me your paw com, but we still don't really know what they're thinking.
I mean, we've done so many studies with dogs, MRI studies, behavioral studies, and we still don't know what they're thinking.
So I guess we're going to have to go through and find out.
I'm the animal IQ, everyone.
I'm Trace Dominguez, science communicator.
Hi, I'm Natalia, I'm a doctoral researcher and science communicator.
And when it's not a global pandemic, I spend my time in Southern Africa researching the evolution of sociality and cognition in large carnivores, mainly big cats.
Here on animal IQ.
We go inside the minds of animals to try and better understand just how they tick.
Most animal cognition.
Experts hesitate to directly compare animals because every animal is unique and each species values different things have different social motivations, evolutionary advantages, and rationalizations.
But luckily for you, we compiled the existing research into this handy cognition rubric to try and make sense of what we know about different species.
In every episode, we try to answer just how intelligent an animal is using our domains of intelligence.
We have social ecological, rational awareness, plus an X factor to chairman's.
How intelligent is animal might seem.
Even if we can't quite put our thoughts.
Intelligence is a complicated metric.
It's not just difficult to measure.
It's tricky to quantify.
And if you think about it, we're not even very good at measuring intelligence in ourselves, right?
And we can talk to ourselves, let alone measuring that intelligence in animals.
How do we even know what an animal is?
Things like behavior can give us clues and their brain can also give us clues as to what's going on inside an animal's head.
And we'll be looking at both behavior and brains.
Doesn't always matter when it comes to intelligence, but when it comes to executive function or control of behavior, brain size can be a factor that helps us measure intelligence, specifically the number of neurons and brain size relative to body size for encephalization quotient.
The IQ of humans is 7.5.
That's really good dogs.
Today's episode animal.
They are 1.2 humans are just way more encephalitis.
What a fun word.
I don't think that's how that term works.
That's definitely true.
The point here is that some animals have a higher ETQ than.
It's not the end all be all number, but it can give us some perspective.
Think of it kind of like a BMI for the brain.
And our eyes are another way that we can figure out what's going on inside a dog's head.
In fact, researchers put dogs inside an MRI and found out that dogs love us.
And not just for our food in some dogs or reward center would light up even more for praise from their human compared to food.
Although I think my dog probably would be about equal between included.
I would take as much as food.
That seems pretty good for me this week.
We're testing humankind's best friends, the canis Familiaris dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but genetically, they can all be traced back to wolves.
These beautiful buddies were domesticated between 20 and 40,000 years ago before humans had learned agriculture, you know, metalworking.
We were truly these primitive animals, but we had this tool, the dog.
And because of this long shared history, we've bred these animals who live alongside us, their brains even have a whole section that exists just to process human faces.
Dogs are even smart enough to understand social cues from people.
Researchers know this because they gave dogs a test to see if they could read a human body language.
What they did is they took two cups.
They put treats in one cup and the other cup was empty.
And in order to figure out which cup had the treats, the dog had to follow either the gaze of a human or the human would point.
And in fact, dogs could follow these social cues of a human pointed at the cup.
The dog would go to the cup with the trait that the human was pointing at.
They did better on this task than chimpanzees and perform similar to human babies.
That's actually amazing, right?
In other MRI studies where dogs are shown pictures of their humans and their dog friends, as well as stranger humans and stranger dogs, the familiar dogs sparked different activity in their brains.
That means that they know what they were looking at as well as who they were looking at, which is an excellent social measure that said when it comes to raw problem, solving, some experts would argue that dogs.
They just don't perform as well as wolves.
Even though the dog does seem really smart to us, perhaps that has to do with our shared evolutionary path for more on dogs, rational and awareness scores though, we wanted to bring in an expert.
So we called Dr. Laurie Santos, at Yale's canine cognitions.
When we look at modern day wolves, they're incredibly smart about problem solving, right?
They throw lots of different strategies at a puzzle box to try to figure out how to solve it.
But dogs had developed a different strategy that both makes them look smarter than wolves and not as smart as they give up pretty quickly.
And then try a new strategy.
That new strategy is to turn to humans for help.
And so in some ways dog's own personal cognition might have gotten some quote unquote dumber over evolutionary time.
But this domestication process has allowed dogs to use a new strategy, a social one that might be ultimately much more effective.
Dogs are very good boys and girls at what they've been bred to do.
They can follow human orders.
They're our companions, they're social.
They even know how to cooperate with us.
Researchers gave dogs a task where they had to work with a human or a dog partner to pull on a string and bring a trait close.
And in fact, dogs were able to not just work with a dog partner to cooperate, but they cooperate with humans.
So that's a big check Mark and the social box for both dogs and their people.
So one of the great things about being a human is that we're really good at cooperation.
You know, we do this so naturally in the way we other individuals information, um, in the way we learn information from other individuals, just in the way we cooperate with language.
And this is the spot where I think dogs really Excel in cooperation with humans.
Even chimpanzees are really bad at this.
If you stick chimpanzees in a study where you have a human pointing to one location, trying to help a chimpanzee to find food, chimpanzees are really bad at this, but if you put a dog in the very same situation, all of a sudden dogs get it on the very first trial.
They know if you're pointing at something, they really tend to want to use the information we're cooperatively providing.
They can even understand thousands of commands.
I mean, they just keep getting those points and social right.
One border Collie can allegedly understand up to a thousand different words, but just because they can associate the sounds with the actions that doesn't mean that dogs understand English, they don't understand grammar, right.
They just understand what that sound means and how that sound means to do that thing, grab that toy, you know, get up, get down that kind of thing.
And this is classic behavioral training using rewards and praise it's treats to elicit the behavior that we want from a dog.
And this also requires learning and memory.
So how smart are dogs?
They seem pretty darn smart to us, especially when it comes to interacting with us.
They communicate, they cooperate, they have pretty high ratings and self-control and problem solving.
And understanding how they affect the world around them.
But they're not so great at using tools or grasping higher concepts of self-awareness.
So many people wonder whether or not dogs have kind of conscious awareness, but this is a bit of a puzzle, right?
Because it requires asking dogs about their subjective experience.
And so to ask researchers have to get really creative and often that creativity to really get at awareness.
It's honestly very tough because we can look at a dog's behavior.
But the problem is that it's hard to know that their behavior matches some sort of conscious awareness.
The X factor, our long history has really shaped how we see dogs and also have dogs interact with us, their unique bond with humans and their ability to understand our social cues makes them a really interesting species to study and raises all kinds of questions.
Like are these cognitive abilities unique to dogs?
Are they a result of domestication.
Where research is needed?
As I like to say, and we have done a lot of research on dogs, they are pretty intelligent.
But I think because we know so much, we should put the X factor, you know, pretty high.
What do you think the.
Yeah, I would say it's pretty high.
They're just such a unique species with our shared history.
In case it isn't obvious.
These are our ratings.
They're not the views of all scientists or even every study out there it's, you know, more complicated than that.
Religion is a complicated metric.
It's difficult to measure and tricky to quantify.
So it might be awhile before we really understand how intelligent our best friends are.
But in the meantime, we can settle for their companionship.
Because we're so in sync with dogs, they're involved in a lot of different behavior and intelligence studies, but there is a similar animal that we thought might be cool to go over next, the Fox tune in next time to learn more about them.
What other animals do you think we should cover on this show?
Where does your dog fall in this rubric?
Not so much.
What do you think?
Thanks for watching.
We'll see you next time on animal IQ.