Have you ever wondered if cats or dogs are smarter? If you're lucky enough to share a household with both, you've surely already witnessed various dog and cat pieces that testify to their intelligence. Dogs, for example, easily learn commands, cats do not let themselves be trained monkeys, but they can put together a puzzle. Which of them has more under the cap? The answer was sought by scientists in the latest research.

Warning: Better keep the following statements from your cat.

A study was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy that looked at the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of carnivorous and omnivorous animals. A dog, a cat, a ferret, a brindle mongoose, a raccoon, a brindle hyena, a lion and a brown bear were examined. We can tell you straight away that the results are on the side of man's best friend - the dog.

But first, let's explain what the number of neurons tells about. A neuron is a type of cell that receives and sends messages from the body to the brain and back to the body. Neurologist Suzana Herculano-Houzel, one of the authors of the study, explains why she chose to use neurons as a measure of intelligence. "Neurons are the basic units for processing information. The more units you find in the brain, the more capable the animal is.”

It is also important to mention that a bigger brain does not mean more neurons. The study examined two dogs, a 16-kilogram poodle and a 70-kilogram golden retriever. Both brains contained roughly the same number of neurons. In contrast, the much larger bear had cognitively fewer neurons.

And the results? The cerebral cortex of the studied dogs had approximately 500 million neurons each, in cats it was 250 million. For comparison, the same area of ​​the human brain is estimated to have up to 16 billion neurons. Critics of this experiment argue that intelligence cannot be determined by neurons alone. Be that as it may, one thing is certain: the number of neurons definitely does not determine how much you will like your dog and cat. So pamper your furry friends and shower them with love, even if they don't just win the top spot on the "Smartest Animal" list.

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