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Animal Learning & Behavior

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 142–149 | Cite as

Search behavior in cats and dogs: Interspecific differences in working memory and spatial cognition

  • François Y. Doré
  • Sylvain Fiset
  • Sonia Goulet
  • Marie -Chantale Dumas
  • Sylvain Gagnon
Article

Abstract

Cats’ and dogs’ search behavior was compared in different problems where an object was visibly moved behind a screen that was then visibly moved to a new position. In Experiments 1 (cats) and 2 (dogs), one group was tested with identical screens and the other group was tested with dissimilar screens. Results showed that in both species, search behavior was based on processing of spatial information rather than on recognition of the visual features of the target screen. Cats and dogs were unable to find the object by inferring its invisible movement. They reached a high level of success only if there was direct perceptual evidence that the object could not be at its initial position. When the position change was indicated by an indirect cue, cats searched more at the object’s initial than final position, whereas dogs searched equally at both positions. Interspecific similarities and differences are interpreted in terms of the requirements for resetting working memory.

Keywords

Search Behavior Object Permanence Hide Object Invisible Displacement Hiding Location 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Y. Doré
    • 1
  • Sylvain Fiset
    • 1
  • Sonia Goulet
    • 1
  • Marie -Chantale Dumas
    • 1
  • Sylvain Gagnon
    • 1
  1. 1.Université LavalQuebecCanada

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