“Beasts of science” is like a collection of stories. Beautiful stories that tell the living in all its freshness. But also in all its complexity. A parenthesis to marvel at the treasures of the world. For this new episode, let’s go back to the one that is most certainly closest to us: the dog.
We have never seen a child chew on the legs of a chair or shred a sofa. Never ? In any case, we have already seen a child greedily throwing himself on a cake on the table. But that’s usually before he learns to. Well imagine that, in the head of your dog, it happens a little what also happens in that of your child in such a situation.
Tens of thousands of years that, that they do even more than just accompany us, it seems! According to the researchers, dogs have taken their cues from us, from our children. They thus developed , cognitive functions that mirror our own. To ensure shelter and board. By forging with us, a very special relationship that other animals, despite their degree of have never successfully built.
But what are these particular cognitive functions? Researchers call them executive functions. They correspond to elaborate cognitive processes that involve logic, planning or reasoning. These processes mobilized in situations that require reflection, creativity. Flexibility too. To adapt to new situations. In humans, developed executive functions are associated with success. School or professional.
All dogs can learn
In dogs, researchers have identified six components of these executive functions: behavioral flexibility, attention to humans,motor skills, instruction following, delay inhibition and . Components that dogs know how to implement in the same way as young children. By themselves in some cases. With a little help in others. They are thus able to stop themselves from barking when a visitor comes. But also to carry out an order given by their human or to remember certain daily routines. Of the “little things” that they have probably integrated to adapt to our environment. Because the dog who dared to attack his human or steal food from him would have little chance of continuing to be welcome in the house.
And it may not surprise you to learn that working dogs, those who herd sheep on farms or those who assist people with disabilities, are somehow champions of executive function. For them, more than for the simple lap dog, it is unimaginable to indulge in chasing a cat orwhile their human depends on them to accomplish everyday tasks.
You should also know that the researchers assure that, as for our children, everything is finally. A little well-placed education and you can develop the executive functions of your four-legged friend. And one more proof of the closeness that has been created over the millennia with our best friend. A proof also that the dog is really not so stupid!