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Object permanence in cats and dogs


Object permanence was assessed for cats and dogs, using tasks analogous to those typically employed for human infants. Neither species solved all of the problems correctly when rewarded only by the discovery of a hidden toy. However, both species showed that they had fully developed concepts of object permanence when the problems were changed so that the animals had to search for hidden food in an odor-control procedure. These results indicate that sensorimotor intelligence is completely developed in these nonprimates.


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Correspondence to Robert Pasnak.

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Triana, E., Pasnak, R. Object permanence in cats and dogs. Animal Learning & Behavior 9, 135–139 (1981).

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  • Nonhuman Primate
  • Hiding Place
  • Object Permanence
  • Invisible Displacement
  • Visible Displacement