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

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WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: duh, fun with animals, NCBI ROFL, rated G
  • onebadunixninja

    This ‘research’ proves nothing – I know plenty of humans that would produce the same results.

  • http://www.thealders.net Doug

    Do not mock them! It is important to understand the nuances of our feline overlords thought processes.

  • MadSciKat =^..^=

    sily h00minz u DO reeliez us kittehs r jus messin wif yr hedz! saem ting liek we cud speek h00minspeek if we want but y shud a vassly supeerrierer aminul liek us st00p 2 yr levvulz? so seth yr Feline Overlordz. kthxbai. =^..^=

  • something_sweet

    If they successfully completed the tasks, then we would have started giving them other work to do. Just proves that cats are smarter than humans give them credit for.

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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

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