“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 definitely closest to us: the dog.
We have never seen a child chew on the legs of a chair or tear a sofa to pieces. Never? At least we have already seen a child greedily throwing himself over a cake on the table. But it is normal before he learns it. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl.
Tens of thousands of years it, that they do even more than just accompany us, it seems! According to the researchers, dogs have taken their signals from us, from our children. They developed that way , cognitive functions that reflect our own. To ensure shelter and catering. By creating with us a very special relationship that other animals despite their degree of has never built successfully.
But what are these particular cognitive functions? Researchers call them executive functions. They correspond to extensive cognitive processes involving logic, planning, or reasoning. These processes are 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 sequence, delay inhibition and . Components that dogs know how to implement in the same way as young children. By itself in some cases. With a little help from 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 being or to remember certain daily routines. Of “little things” that they have probably integrated to adapt to our environment. For the dog who dared to attack his human or steal food from him would have little chance of remaining welcome in the house.
And it may not surprise you to learn that working dogs, those who herd sheep on farms, or those who help people with disabilities, are somehow advocates of executive functions. For them, more than for the simple lap dog, it is unthinkable to embark on a hunt for a cat orwhile their human being depends on them to perform everyday tasks.
You should also know that scientists assure that as far as our children are concerned, everything is finite. A little well-placed education and you can develop your four-legged friend’s executive functions. And yet another proof of the closeness that has been created over millennia with our best friend. A proof also that the dog really is not that stupid!