Dogs or Cats, Who are Smarter: We Finally Have the Actual Answer


That's the conclusion of an worldwide team of researchers, who found that dogs possess twice the number of neurons than cats. A team of researchers from six different universities in the U.S., Brazil, Denmark, and South Africa contributed to the research. Neurons are cells that process information.

What the researchers did is take brain matter and essentially turn it into soup.

"It is fair to say, then, that dogs have about twice as many neurons as cats in their cerebral cortex", she said.

In each of the dogs' brains, despite varying in size, researchers found about 500 million neurons, more than double the 250 million found in the cat's brain.

"I'm 100 percent a dog person", Ms. Herculano-Houzel said in the statement, "but, with that disclaimer, 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".

If an animal has more of these neurons, it would follow that they would be able to engage in more of these activities, so the study-for the first time ever-counted the number of these neurons in the brains of several animals. That may help them wield their hefty trunks. Dog or cat? This is the eternal question and the answer is virtually impossible.

Previous and sometimes controversial work to quantify intelligence has measured brain size and structural complexity.

The study was based on a new method for accurate measurement of the number of neurons in the brain, was developed by Susan Gerbino-Housel associate Professor of psychology and biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University.

Carnivorous animals were compared in the study, consisting of 280 species of mammals characterized by teeth and claws allowing them to eat animals.

They found that the brain of a golden retriever has more neurons than a hyena, lion or brown bear - even though the bigger predators have brains up to three times as large.

Lead Image: Brewster, the akita/pitbull mix, smiles for the camera.