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Animal cognition - do we underestimate our furry friends?

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posted on May, 16 2013 @ 12:25 PM
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We are " prejudice" towards animals and do not meet farm animals needs for stimulation.

Because they dont speak any human languages and arent useful specifically to us, apart from dogs are and cats to an extent.

But for example you find animals looking at the nuts and bolts that keep gates togeather in order to try and find a way to undo them to release themselves. They dont look at the gate part that needs to be pushed but the specific part keeping the gates closed. I think that means they are quite smart, even goats do this.




posted on May, 16 2013 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by Mads1987
 




Animal cognition - do we underestimate our furry friends?


I realize that this thread is aimed mainly at the communicative avenues that may be possible between primates and humans but... if I may, I'd like to add that most ALL animals of higher order (dogs, cats, some birds, dolphins/whales, etc.) possess cognitive skills that are very impressive, even if they may seem a little alien to us.

The great gap in genuine understanding is the same between people and animals as it is between people and people; we can't leave our own physical machine to take the seat behind those eyes looking back at us. We know our animal friends think and feel and have emotions... but we just don't have the ability to understand them from the first-person perspective. All we have is assumptions based on what we THINK we know about ourselves.

So, do we underestimate our animal friends? In some case, no doubt. Drive down any highway and that which we laughingly refer to as 'roadkill' represents just how disconnected, if not distant, we truly are.




posted on May, 16 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by Mads1987

Predators stalk their prey. This might just be the result of the evolution of hunting techniques, and not a conscious choice as such- but it seems to me, that the predator is often very aware about whether it's prey has noticed it's presence or not. Which would indicate to me that many predators, at least the ones that stalk and hunt, have more cognitive abilities than we currently think.


I think anyone who owns cats or has watched them on nature shows can attest to this fact. I've had many cats throughout my years and they always show the same stalking behavior. They watch and wait until an opportunity presents itself. They crouch down low and wait until the right time to pounce. I've seen them do it to dogs, birds, and even people's legs/feet when they are in that mood. As soon as it sees you looking at it, the cat will lay down and start looking around like it has no interest in you at all. I've seen it it hundreds of times and always makes me chuckle and think a bit.

I haven't read the rest of the thread yet and this may have been mentioned already but I just wanted to add my 2 cents. Animals are way more intelligent and insightful/intuitive than most give them credit for.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:04 PM
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reply to post by Wifibrains
 


This has always intrigued me. Why do other animals have this "sense" and we don't? It's like when the Tsunami hit Japan, you saw a lot of dead humans, but not a lot other species. Have we lost this "sense" through social and chemical engineering? (Mass media, sodium fluoride, desensitization, materialism, and whole lot more.)

Or do humans simply don't have it to begin with? But maybe it even goes deeper. Maybe self esteem, ego, and dopamine addiction has led us off our natural trail. Seriously, maybe that's it, it's all just ego, self esteem, mixed with dopamine to create a cocktail of roaming zombies.

This site was a huge mind fu** btw:

dopamineproject.org...

Anyway...



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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My dog asks a question every time he wants to go outside. In its simplest form when he goes and grabs
his leash off the wall he is saying I want to go outside which is a statement. But other than the need
to relieve himself he is sometimes cogent of the fact that a family member is about to leave the house
and he will quickly grab his leash and make the statement that he wants to go (with) by doing so.

But he also is asking a question with his body language, can I pleeeaase go?. He is also
capable of deception in that he will feign needing to pee to just get a chance at riding in the car



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by redoubt
 


Damn dude, that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
I completely agree with you.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by rival
 


Thats an interesting example. I had a dog when I was a kid, and I know what you are talking about. I think it's sort of a grey area, between a statement and a question. But there is absolutely something there.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by rival
 


Clever dog you have



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:06 PM
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Id say animals are also capable of " understanding" others through their behaviour and learning how to react appropiately.




posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by Mads1987
 


According to my wife, she knows what our dog is thinking. She says she knows when she's depressed and when she's disgusted.
All I know is when she's hungry, when she has to do her business and when she's tag wagging happy and excited.


Other than that, I would think it would be awesome to hear a dog talk.
edit on 16-5-2013 by WeRpeons because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by WeRpeons
 


wow thats so cool. Yeah some people can read animals emotions exactly, must be a different world for them when with animals.

I honestly cannot read dogs well. But I can read cats quite well. And cats are hiliarious. They have so much going on in their heads.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by Mads1987
 


So, you are saying that animals can't ask questions. This is not surprising because I never thought that they could; however, this is intriguing, since asking questions is one major way that humans learn. Perhaps this is why humans have progressed so much further than other animals. Besides, the fact that we have thumbs and use tools (which is the usual answer for humans advanced intellegence)



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by Mads1987
 


It is interesting one of our measures of humanity is asking questions. One of my friends and I were just talking about this yesterday. She is not a curious person, at all. She asks no questions. It is fascinating to me. I assure you she is human. lol. I think animals ask questions, it might be that they think scientific researchers are to dumb to answer any.........



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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I have written and discussed this before....

...i think dogs are fully cognizant. I think that it is all about utilization, however.

We utilize our brains to process information in abstract ways. However dogs typically (although it varies from animal to animal) process in concrete ways.

For example, you can point at something and give a command. A person will look at what you point at, while the dog will look at the end of your finger. The dog is not accustomed to utilizing things as tools, so the idea of using the finger to point at something is foreign.

But dogs fully comprehend things like fairness. Try giving only 1 dog a treat. Eventually the other dogs begin to lose interest at treat time. They also can plan ahead to a degree. Or at least, can have expectations of the future.

One day I was leaving. They didn't see me go out the already open back door (i park in the back of my ranch style house). I turned to go back for a forgotten item, and the dogs both were let out (I had pulled the door to as i walked out). They came running around the corner fully expecting that they were going to run out and chase birds. They weren't barking because they didn't yet see the birds (which weren't there anyway because of me). But they were going full speed. So when they almost ran directly into me, walking back at them around the corner, they slide and scrambled to retreat.

They fully expected that it would be like always. They were planning to run out and chase the birds off. Abstract thought, at least to a degree. Is it related to repetitious learned behavior? Possibly.

But i have one dog that will stand next to your foot and wait for you to wiggle it (as people tend to do while sitting) so she can take advantage of a little cheap "petting".

They can plan, and think in the abstract to a degree. But it tends to be relative to their experience, not yours.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 07:43 PM
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Besides - how could you possibly know what your dog is doing when your not home? I imagine your parents told you that the dog would be waiting for you every time, but simple fact is, that your observations or theirs aren't really that conclusive. Just curious.
reply to post by Mads1987
 


Because in winter there was always a steaming hot cup of tomato soup with warm toast waiting when i arrived home from school. Did not matter if I was late or not. My Mum prepared it when my dog alerted. Additionally he used to do it every time she was coming home. The first time I noticed him 'alerting' I praised him and made a fuss so he did it all the time and this was occasionally useful.

From reading many of your luke warm responses to valuable information in this thread I think you would be a very hard person to convince that animals may just be as self aware as we are. That they often respond to our moods and try and help is evident to me.

It does not matter if your dog does this. Humans all have different traits as do animals. This is where science fails so badly. It does not treat animals as individuals but expects each animal to perform like any other of the same type.

P



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 01:22 AM
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reply to post by Mads1987
 

My first thoughts to your thread were of the notion of sentience and how that may qualify for cognition. I was reminded of this vid showing a man reunited with a gorilla he raised. The behavior and expressions of the gorilla seemed so intelligent.

"and he wouldn't let me go"

I realize the 'projected humanizing' effect, but I think there is more. We have seen emotion in some animals such as the Elephants Reunite with each other after being separated for 20 years. Elephants mourn as well.
Ravens and crows, definitely some cognition there me thinks.

My understanding is that recently scientists have discovered that dogs are capable of learning much more than what was once believed. They found that dogs could learn new and more complex tasks.
"Dog genome researchers have found a gene that may be responsible for heightened cognitive abilities. It is called CTNND2. In humans this gene is important for normal cognitive development."
www.pbs.org...
Another good vid NOVA - How Smart Are Animals

I feel that with dogs in particular, have evolved to depend on us, as well as us depend on them in a sense, and so that relationship may be accelerating this species' evolution(cognitive), speculatively speaking of course. Think if we were a pet to an advanced being, comparatively speaking, and how fast we would learn, being with them most of the time and sharing their lives.

Cool thread
Peace,
spec



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 01:45 AM
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I eat fast food once a day at least. The dog comes with me every time, she loves it. When I'm getting ready to go she gets very excited. She will notice soon as I put my shoes on or pick my keys. But.... 1 out of 10 times she knows I'm going the second the thought pops into my head. She goes nuts, even before I send off any body language. This could be anticipation of a recurring event, but it is damn strange sometimes.

I'll be sitting there on the couch. The though of going to get something to eat pops into my head. Before I make any movements the dog just knows whats about to happen.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 01:53 AM
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I love animals as much as the next person, but don't be fooled. Many animals kill for fun, eat their children, go to war, rape, and do just about everything we consider criminal and evil. The difference I think is that (most?) animals do not dwell on grudges and take revenge, they simply live life as it is.

They are indeed smart but they aren't morally better or worse than we are.
edit on 17-5-2013 by lampsalot because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 01:59 AM
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Originally posted by lampsalot
I love animals as much as the next person, but don't be fooled. Many animals kill for fun, eat their children, go to war, rape, and do just about everything we consider criminal and evil. The difference I think is that (most?) animals do not dwell on grudges and take revenge, they simply live life as it is.

They are indeed smart but they aren't morally better or worse than we are.
edit on 17-5-2013 by lampsalot because: (no reason given)

I agree with most of what you are saying. But some, if not most animals do hold grudges.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 02:18 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


I agree with you that our approach and treatment of animals is unsatisfactory, to say the least.

The case with your dog really does sound interesting. I am not impossible to convince, and I agree that there could be something there that we are totally unaware of. But I just don't want to jump to conclusions.

I find it too easy just accepting it as a spiritual connection. It's too broad a term to explain any of the physics or biology involved with the process, and frankly I think spirituality is associated with to much superstition. There could possibly be energies in the world, that we are still not aware off. But calling it magic doesn't help.
I am interested in understanding things. So please forgive my luke warmness, but that is how I roll.
I'd prefer to just look at it as unidentified behavioral patterns - and take it from there.

But the more you tell about it, the more I would agree with you that it is some very interesting behavior.



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