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Scooby Doo would have bested Garfield: Study finds dogs are brainier than cats

A study has found that dogs have more brain cells associated with thinking, planning and complex behaviour than cats.

more lifestyle Updated: Nov 30, 2017 14:17 IST
Researchers found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million.
Researchers found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dogs are far more smarter than cats, according to a study that shows canines have significantly more brain cells associated with thinking, planning and complex behaviour as compared to felines.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons, the little gray cells, while cats have about 250 million.

“The absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state. It also determines their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience,” said Suzana Herculano-Houzel, from the Vanderbilt University in the US.

Dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can, said researchers. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to the research, raccoons have as many neurons as a primate packed into a brain the size of a cat’s, and bears have the same number of neurons as a cat packed into a much larger brain.

“Our findings mean to me that dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can,” Herculano-Houzel said.

For the study, researchers analysed the brains of other animals also like lions and hyenas.

“Diversity is enormous. Not every species is made the same way. Yes, there are recognisable patterns, but there are multiple ways that nature has found of putting brains together, and we are trying to figure out what difference that makes,” she said.

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