Who's Smarter, Dogs or Cats? Science Now Has the Answer

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We find they do not; carnivorans (cat, mongoose, dog, hyena, lion) share with non-primates, including artiodactyls (the typical prey of large carnivorans), roughly the same relationship between cortical mass and number of neurons, which suggests that carnivorans are subject to the same evolutionary scaling rules as other non-primate clades.

They found dogs possess 530million neurons in the cerebral cortex, while cats have 250million.

As a side note, humans have 16 billion neurons in their brains.

"I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience", said Suzana Herculano-Houzel, associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt, who oversaw the study with a collection of worldwide researchers.

Associate Professor, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, who pioneered the method for determining the number of neurons in brains, said: "I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience". It's probably the number of neurons that are residing in the brain.

That means that it may take as much brain power to avoid being caught as it does to do the catching. However, the researchers also discovered that brown bears had almost as many neurons as cats, despite being significantly bigger in size in comparison.

For example, the brain of a golden retriever has more neurons than a hyena, lion or brown bear, even though those animals have brains up to three times as large. It also needs energy continuously.

They also noted that racoons had far more number of neurons than their small size brain indicated. But researchers still can't be sure whether dogs are using that capability to its full potential.

"Raccoons are not your typical carnivoran", said Herculano-Houzel.

"Diversity is enormous", said Houzel.

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