New Study Suggests Dogs May Be Smarter than Cats

Carnivores and their brains

Since neurons are the brain's "information-processing units", Herculano-Houzel explained, "whatever species has the most neurons in the cerebral cortex is therefore expected to be capable of more complex and flexible behavior".

Let the cat vs dog battle rage on.

DOGS really are cleverer than cats and have twice as many intelligence brain cells, according to a new study.

'We now have some biology that people can factor into discussions about who is smarter, cats or dogs, ' she said.

Researchers found dogs have roughly 530 million cortical neurons while cats have around 250 million.

Herculano-Houzel stated it's her belief that the number of neurons an animal has, particularly those housed within the cerebral cortex, speaks to the richness of their "internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience".




Those interested in learning more are encouraged to check out the results of the study in a paper titled, "Dogs have the most neurons, though not the largest brain: Trade-off between body mass and number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of large carnivoran species" in the open access journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. The human brain possesses 16 billion neurons.

In fact, for the largest carnivorans the neuron-to-brain-size ratio is actually lower.

The researchers attempted to probe further and examined the brains of eight mammals: cats, dogs, bears, lions, hyenas, ferrets, mongoose and raccoons.

Just because an animal is bigger and has a bigger brain size, that doesn't mean it has more neurons. But a new study may have found a clear victor when it comes to which animal is more intelligent: dogs. Another oddity is the bear - its brain is about 10 times larger than a cats, but has a similar amount of neurons. After their evaluation, they found out that animals who had larger brains also tended to have more neurone than the smaller one.

The size of the animal and its brain doesn't always correlate to more neurons.

Herculano-Houzel herself admits that, while the study was objective, she herself does have a bit of a bias.

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