Your Dog Remembers Just Like You

Posted: Nov 24 2016, 4:51am CST | by , in News

 

Your Dog Remembers Just Like You
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  • Dogs Have Episodic Memory Too Just Like Humans
  • Canines have Memories of their Owner’s Actions
 

Apparently, canines have memories of their owner’s actions and activities. They are not just dumb animals as many take them to be.

Human beings have a wonderful memory of past events that may not have been very important but were somehow saturated with emotional significance. These memory traces remained behind as relics despite the unimportance of the events that had transpired in the past.

Now, scientists know that dogs show the same ability although in a more primitive form. A study was published in the journal Current Biology on November 23 which showed that dogs have this episodic memory. 

This study breaks down any and all false barriers built between human beings and animals. Dogs are still more intelligent than any of the other animals such as avians.

Yet the very implication that these pet pooches still possess such a thing as a working memory is something which had not been suspected before by laypersons.

The evidence for this ability in dogs is indirect since they cannot express in a linguistic manner whether they have the memory of any past event or not. The researchers used an experiment where they played a game termed “Do As I Do”.   

Dogs that played this game saw a human being perform an action and then they too repeated the action after him. All that is needed is the trigger “Do It” which makes the canine do the action in repetition after the human owner.

Yet this action alone could not allow for episodic memory to be gauged in a straightforward manner. The crux of the matter was that the dogs had to be shown to remember the events and then do them.

For this the evidence was apparently lacking. In order to get over this loophole, the researchers trained 17 dogs to play “Do As I Do”.  

Next the dogs were trained to lie down while their owners performed the various actions. After they were all lying down, the researchers shouted “Do It” in response to which the dogs did the actions they were supposed to perform.

Thus the dogs remembered the activities they engaged in even though they had not been prompted to act in such a manner. This showed that they did indeed possess episodic memory. However, there was one hitch.

The canines’ memories faded over time. Yet this was to be expected. Episodic memory is apparently a widely common phenomenon in the animal world and is probably not confined to canines.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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