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According to science, we cannot hide from our cat

The findings offer new insights that could inform future studies on feline cognition, according to the study authors (REUTERS)
The findings offer new insights that could inform future studies on feline cognition, according to the study authors (REUTERS)

Your cat is likely tracking where you are, even if your feline friend is not in the same room with you and cannot see you.

Scientists recently discovered that domestic cats create “mind maps” that tell them where nearby humans are, depending on where the sounds come from. The researchers tested cats playing recordings of human voices calling out to cats; then they played those recordings again, only this time through a speaker in a different location, so the same sounds were coming from further afield.

The cats they acted surprised when the familiar voice came from a place they did not expect, based on what they had already heard. This suggests that cats spatially orient their invisible human companions using audio cues, a cognitive ability that was previously unknown in felines.

Knowing that something continues to exist even if it is out of sight (as the cats demonstrated in their responses) is called object permanence, And it is a test that researchers use to measure animal intelligence. Human babies generally begin to develop object permanence around 8 months of age, and This skill becomes more refined when babies reach 10 to 12 months of age; At that stage, they can find hidden objects and begin to realize that their parents and caregivers do not disappear just because they cannot be seen, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Previous research has shown the permanence of objects in primates such as chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Paniscus bread), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and orangutans (I put pygmaeus); and in non-primates like jays Eurasians (Garrulus glandarius), Bears (Melursus ursinus and Helarctos malayanus euryspilus), dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and cats (Felis catus), the scientists reported Nov. 10 in the open access journal PLOS One.

For the new study, decided to test cats using audio cues because cats are known for their exceptional hearing and they are able from find dams hidden in low visibility conditions. “In fact, cats seem to be good at inferring the physical and social presence of sounds ”, the authors wrote.

In other studies, cats have also shown that they can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar human voices and that they can locate hidden objects (Getty Images)
In other studies, cats have also shown that they can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar human voices and that they can locate hidden objects (Getty Images)

Previously, the lead author of the study, Saho Takagi, PhD candidate at the Kyoto University in Japan, he discovered that When cats heard the sounds of their owners ‘voices, they expected to see their owners’ faces. In other studies, cats have also shown that can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar human voices and they can locate hidden objects. Then, “It seems plausible that cats can mentally map the locations of others based on vocalizations”, the scientists in the study said.

For your experiments, they placed the cats in three groups; Each group was divided into two depending on where the cats lived, either in cat cafes or in domestic homes. The groups of cats ethey heard a different combination of sounds: group one heard recordings of caregivers or strangers calling their names; group two heard the sounds of other cats; and group three heard random electronic noises.

Then the researchers played the sounds in two passes: first through a speaker near a door that was near the cats and then through a loudspeaker next to a door or window that was further away. The observers noticed how surprised the cats seemed by the seemingly inexplicable “teleportation” of the sounds from one place to another, rating their level of surprise on a scale from 0 (not at all surprised) to 4 (very surprised). The signs of surprise they included stare at the “original” position of the voice, move the ears and head, look around or move around the room, according to the study.

Usually, the cats showed the greatest surprise when their owner’s familiar voice seemed to “teleport”. This suggests that cats formed a mental image of their invisible owners and mapped their locations based on where they first heard the voice, “Showing evidence of socio-spatial cognition,” the researchers reported.

Being able to form a mental image of the outside world “is an important characteristic of complex thinking ”, and these findings offer new insights that could inform future studies on feline cognition, the study authors concluded.

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HELEN HERNANDEZ

Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Helen@oicanadian.com Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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