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Remember that age old saying “You dumb dog”? Well, that saying might no longer hold any ground. In a recent study set to be published in Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel reveals that not only are dogs pretty smart, but they’re actually even smarter than cats.
The study was conducted by counter the number of neurons in the animals’ cerebral cortexes. The neurons, or, “little gray cells”, are responsible for thinking, planning, and other complex behavior.
This is the first study in the field to actually count the number of cortical neurons in the brains of different animals, and the result will likely stump cat-lovers who have always thought cats are smarter.
It was only cats that the pups were stacked against. The study compared other carnivores, too, like brown bears and lions.
Out of all the species studied, the dog took home the award for most number of neurons, totalling about 530 million cortical neurons. That’s a lot!
Though dogs don’t have the largest brain of the species studied, the amount of neurons is what actually matters, as these neurons are what drive the thinking process.
Cats, on the other hand, only boast about 250 million neurons. Compared to humans, both species pale in comparison to our 16 billion neurons. But then again, we have more thinking to do than dogs and cats.
So, while your pet dog won’t be getting their PhD anytime soon, you can finally answer that famous question: “Who’s smarter? Cats or dogs?”
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