NCBI ROFL: Domestic cats do not show causal understanding in a string-pulling task.

By ncbi rofl | July 20, 2011 7:00 pm

“This study explored how domestic cats perform in a horizontal string-pulling task to determine whether they understand this case of physical causality. Fifteen cats were tested on their ability to retrieve an unreachable food treat in three different set-ups: (a) a single baited string, (b) two parallel strings where only one was baited and (c) two crossed strings where only one was baited. All cats succeeded at pulling a single string to obtain a treat, but none consistently chose the correct string when two strings were parallel. When tested with two crossed strings one cat chose the wrong string consistently and all others performed at chance level. There was no evidence that cats understand the function of the strings or their physical causality.”

Photo: flickr/oskay

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Optimizing the sensory characteristics and acceptance of canned cat food: use of a human taste panel.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Introducing…the automatic LOLcat detector!
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Cooperation and individuality among man-eating lions.

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: duh, fun with animals, NCBI ROFL, rated G
ADVERTISEMENT
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+