Thursday, September 10, 2009

Piaget, babies, and dogs

Dogs and babies both depend on people for information. In fact, new research says that dogs depend on people more like a 10 month old baby than our own brother wolves.

In a twist on the classic Piaget "A-not-B" experiment, researcher Adam Miklosi determined that dogs will depend on humans for information on where toys are hidden. Dogs and babies seem to be misled by the prior information provided by humans. The interesting this is that wolves are not so easily deceived--they follow their instincts. Miklosi believes that this is because dogs have evolved to look to humans as "teachers" who would not provide the wrong information.

Lots of interesting stuff in this story. Read or listen to it on NPR.

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