A new study provided by Vanderbilt University to phys.org found that dogs have significantly more cortical neurons, the "little gray cells" associated with thinking, planning, and complex behavior. "It was wolves. So because of the large size of the wolf brain, so we can expect that [a dog] should have more neurons than a cat brain anyway". They found that dogs have many more neurons in the cerebral cortex than cats do.
Dogs, it turns out, have about 530 million cortical neurons.
In the scientific work of the group of global experts, in addition to cats and dogs who participated lions, ferrets, raccoons and brown bears, however, most scholars interested in the intellectual opposition to Pets.
But Herculano Houzel hopes her research at Vanderbilt will inspire some animal behavioral psychologists to take up the challenge. Their intense battle over 'who is better?' - the dogs or cats - is likely to end, as recent studies have finally put a nail in the coffin.
That makes dogs, dare we say, smarter than cats.
One of "longest ongoing wars" on the planet happens to be between two sections of population - the cat people and the dog people. She developed a way to measure the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex.
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The study was carried out by counting a number of cortical neurons in eight carnivorans - that happen to be a large class of mammals having teeth and claws that allow them to eat other animals; they are not to be confused with carnivores that are exclusively meat-eating animals, including humans.
"I'm 100pc a dog person, 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. The large numbers of neurons in the small raccoon brains jives very well with how crafty/smart/resourceful these creatures are believed to be".
"Meat eating is largely considered a problem-solver in terms of energy, but, in retrospect, it is clear that carnivory must impose a delicate balance between how much brain and body a species can afford", said Herculano-Houzel.
The researchers also learned that the domesticated animals in the test group (dogs, cats, ferrets) have similar brain to body weight ratios as the wild animals in the group.
"Raccoons are not your typical carnivoran", said Herculano-Houzel.
According to the neuroscientist, studying the brains of different species teaches an important lesson: "Diversity is enormous".