Pets and Computers

They sport handmade sweaters, get mani/pedi, and some even have their own car and driver. Currently, dogs are now using computers.

A few dogs show their genius skills by using touch-screen computers to categorize color photographs for a study on animal cognition.

Using touch-screen computers with dogs gives them a huge number of possibilities on how to examine the cognitive capabilities of dogs by essentially totally controlling any influence from the owner or experimenter. This is according to researchers who write and publish for a major journal called Animal Cognition.

Analyzing the brains of canine pets has been challenging for researchers. This is due to the fact that a failsafe method for assessing dog smarts has stayed elusive. In the past, methods depended on the owner of the dog or a tester to prompt the animal, a technique that can have an effect on the results.

Today’s researchers and testers turned to computers. In order to test if dogs can visually classify pictures and transport their knowledge to new situations, a few dogs were shown dog photographs and landscapes. They were supposed to make a choice on a touch-screen computer.

In the training phase, the dogs were presented a landscape photo and dog photo at the same time on the computer screen. When a dog nose-selected the dog photo, they got a treat. As expected, the four-legged furry folks picked the dog photographs.

Then, the researchers threw in a monkey wrench. The dog photos were put into the landscape photos used in the training phase. In this test, the dogs had to pick between a dog-on-landscape image and a landscape-only picture. Good boys. They aced the test, picking the photos that had the dogs in them.

The outcome indicates, according to the testers, dogs are capable of forming a concept of a “dog.” If the dogs established the pup pictures as real dogs is unknown.

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