HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
How dogs don't ape

A distinguishing feature of human intelligence is our ability to understand the goals and intentions of others. This ability develops gradually during infancy, and the extent to which it is present in other animals is an intriguing question.

New research by Friederike Range and Ludwig Huber, of the University of Vienna, and Zsofia Viranyi, of the Etvs University in Budapest, reveals striking similarities between humans and dogs in the way they imitate the actions of others. The phenomenon under investigation is known as "selective imitation" and implies that dogslike human infantsdo not simply copy an action they observe, but adjust the extent to which they imitate to the circumstances of the action. The research will appear online on April 26th in the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

In the study, dogs were faced with the task of opening a container with food by pulling a rod. Whereas dogs prefer to use the mouth for this task, a female dog was trained to open the box with her paw. When the other dogs observed the females action, they imitated it in order to get the food. However, the dogs imitated selectively. They used their mouths instead of their paws for manipulating the rod when they had seen the demonstrating dog using her paw while holding a ball in her mouth. However, when the demonstrating dogs mouth was free, the dogs imitated her action completely and used the paw themselves.

This means that the way the dogs imitate is tuned to the goal of the action. If the dogs perceive the demonstrator being unable to use her mouth, because she holds a ball in it, they choose the easier, more preferred way to achieve the goal. But when the mouth is free, there appears to be a reason for the demonstrating dog not to use her mouth, and so the dogs imitate the action.

The new work shows for the first time that animals do imitate selectively. This reveals a striking parallel between dogs and human infants in tha
'"/>

Contact: Erin Doonan
edoonan@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
26-Apr-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Monkeys dont go for easy pickings
2. Metabolic syndrome -- dont blame the belly fat
3. It dont mean a thing if it aint got that (modern) swing
4. Flies dont buzz about aimlessly!
5. Test finds manufactured nanoparticles dont harm soil ecology
6. Some caterpillers just dont want to grow up
7. When your brain talks, your muscles dont always listen
8. Why our shifty eyes dont drive us crazy
9. Teenagers know about condoms ... so why dont they use them?
10. Why dont all moles progress to melanoma?
11. Survival of the selfless - scientists find cheats dont always prosper

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: How dogs don ape

(Date:7/25/2014)... MA A study published online in the ... a novel approach to preventing cervical cancer based on ... cancer after removal of a discrete population of cells ... a study that looked at squamocolumnar junction cells, or ... and have been implicated as the origins of cervical ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... has opened the way for the development of new lines ... annual barley production is second only to wheat with 7-8 ... most important diseases of barley. , Senior Research Scientist Dr ... growths on the cell walls of barley plants that block ... research, by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... age girls reach puberty is influenced by ,imprinted genes,a subset ... the gene. This is the first evidence that imprinted ... details of this study were published today in the journal ... as menarche, is a marker for the timing of puberty ... menses varies between girls, is an inherited trait, and is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Clearing cells to prevent cervical cancer 2New hope for powdery mildew resistant barley 2Could age of first period influence development of diseases in older women? 2
(Date:7/24/2014)... July 24, 2014  Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCBB: ... field of regenerative medicine, announced today that it ... to investors on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at ... will include an overview of Asterias, business strategy ... visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/asterias-biotherapeutics at least 15 minutes ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... to materialise. Yet, scientists are making progress in ... One such approach relies on quantum dotsa kind ... electric field. A new study demonstrates that changing ... (TQDs) with electrical impulses can help better control ... be used as quantum information units, which would ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Instruments Market 2014-2018" report to their offering. ... is the study of the gene and its functions ... functions of proteomes or sets of proteins by using ... the mapping of genes and DNA sequencing to understand ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014 ... Wednesday to be semi-finalists in Livestrong’s Big C Competition. ... Decisive Health are each headed to the semi-final round. ... in Livestrong’s exclusive three-month accelerator program, complete with mentoring ... country. , As part of the angelMD commitment ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Live Investor Webcast 2Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Live Investor Webcast 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Live Investor Webcast 4Global Genomics and Proteomics Analytical Instruments Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Agilent, Bio-Rad , F. Hoffmann, La Roche, Illumina, PerkinElmer and Thermo Fisher Scientific 23 angelMD Startups Make Livestrong Big C Semi-finals 2
Cached News: