Dog cognitive development: a longitudinal study across the first 2 years of life
AuthorBray, Emily E
Gruen, Margaret E
Gnanadesikan, Gitanjali E
Horschler, Daniel J
Levy, Kerinne M
Kennedy, Brenda S
Hare, Brian A
MacLean, Evan L
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Arizona Canine Cognit Ctr, Sch Anthropol
Univ Arizona, Cognit Sci Program
Univ Arizona, Dept Psychol
Univ Arizona, Coll Vet Med
MetadataShow full item record
CitationBray, E. E., Gruen, M. E., Gnanadesikan, G. E., Horschler, D. J., Levy, K. M., Kennedy, B. S., ... & MacLean, E. L. (2020). Dog cognitive development: a longitudinal study across the first 2 years of life. Animal Cognition, 1-18.
Rights© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020.
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AbstractWhile our understanding of adult dog cognition has grown considerably over the past 20 years, relatively little is known about the ontogeny of dog cognition. To assess the development and longitudinal stability of cognitive traits in dogs, we administered a battery of tasks to 160 candidate assistance dogs at 2 timepoints. The tasks were designed to measure diverse aspects of cognition, ranging from executive function (e.g., inhibitory control, reversal learning, memory) to sensory discrimination (e.g., vision, audition, olfaction) to social interaction with humans. Subjects first participated as 8-10-week-old puppies, and then were retested on the same tasks at similar to 21 months of age. With few exceptions, task performance improved with age, with the largest effects observed for measures of executive function and social gaze. Results also indicated that individual differences were both early emerging and enduring; for example, social attention to humans, use of human communicative signals, independent persistence at a problem, odor discrimination, and inhibitory control all exhibited moderate levels of rank-order stability between the two timepoints. Using multiple regression, we found that young adult performance on many cognitive tasks could be predicted from a set of cognitive measures collected in early development. Our findings contribute to knowledge about changes in dog cognition across early development as well as the origins and developmental stability of individual differences.
Note12 month embargo; published 28 October 2020
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
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