Animal Cognition


  • can dogs tell time?
    Can Dogs Tell Time?
    Posted in: Mammals

    Many dog owners say that it seems like their dogs “just know” when family members usually come home, or even when other routine events are about to take place (such as going out for a walk). Yet, if dogs can’t read clocks or count hours, how is this possible? […]

  • Bonobo Female Coalition Brutality
    Bonobos Make Love AND War
    Posted in: Mammals

    There is a common misconception that bonobos never fight; if tensions are running high, they have sex or rub their genitals together and everything’s just peachy. But bonobos do fight and they do form coalitions to support one another in aggressive interactions. […]

  • Horse communication with humans
    How do Horses Communicate with Humans?
    Posted in: Mammals

    When asked to think about how horses and humans communicate with each other, most people would likely conjure up the classic image of a rider on horseback, steering with reins and giving a kick to signal “Go!”. In this picture, the human is the communicator, the horse the receiver. The animal is expected to obey […]

  • altruism in chimpanzees
    Altruism in Chimpanzees
    Posted in: Main, Mammals

    In 2005, Drs. Felix Warnecken and Michael Tomasello conducted a study on altruism in human infants and chimpanzees.1 Altruism is taking action to help someone else, even when that action won’t be reciprocated or otherwise benefit oneself. To put it simply, altruistic actions are motivated purely by the desire to […]

  • Malinois Dog Running Through Water
    How Dogs Perceive Human Faces
    Posted in: Mammals

    When you have dogs, it’s easy to see that human faces are important to them. Surely, you’ve probably noticed the countless times in a day that your dog looks at your face: in the park, on the couch, when you are playing together. It’s very likely that dogs are the ultimate “human-stalker”, as they can […]

  • primate personalities
    Primate Personalities
    Posted in: Mammals

    People who keep animals as pets will often talk about their pet’s personality – identifiable traits that appear to be displayed in a consistent manner across contexts and time. Although it was once considered anthropomorphic to talk about nonhuman animals as having a ‘personality’, today, studies dispute this view, with many researchers […]

  • Black Dog
    Dogs Recognize Human Emotions
    Posted in: Mammals

    Many dog owners can attest that their dogs appear to be “in tune” with their emotions, seeming to intuitively “know” when the owners are feeling depressed or irritable. While in the past plenty of people may have been quick to write this off as anthropomorphism, two recently published studies support the conclusion that it’s true: dogs […]

  • Spear-Hunting Chimps
    Spear-Hunting Chimps
    Posted in: Mammals

    Fashioning spears and wielding them to hunt – these sound like typical activities of our human ancestors. But the surprising fact is that not only are tool-use and tool-building carried out by other animal species, they’re done in the context of hunting as well. Chimpanzees in the Fongoli savanna of Senegal have been observed

  • Brown Rat byanimals smarter than humans
    Can Rats Feel Empathy For Each Other?
    Posted in: Mammals

    As the go-to animal for biological and behavioral research, rats have long been the darlings of science. But only in recent years has their capacity for empathy started to get more attention. That’s not to say that research into rat empathy hasn’t been done in the past. In 1962, scientists George E. Rice and Priscilla Gainer presented individual […]

  • The Intelligence of Farm Animals
    Testing the Intelligence of Farm Animals
    Posted in: Interviews, Mammals

    In this interview, we chatted with Christian Nawroth, an animal cognition researcher at the Queen Mary University of London. He specializes in studying the cognitive abilities of farm animals, and applying his findings in ways that can help improve their welfare and treatment. If you’d like to learn more about his research and publications, please […]

Popular Articles

Elephant looking in mirror
List of Animals That Have Passed the Mirror Test
Posted in: General, Main

The mirror test was developed by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr.1 in 1970 as a method for determining whether a non-human animal has the ability of self-recognition. It’s also known as the “mark test” or “mirror self-recognition test” (MSR). When conducting the mirror test, scientists place a visual marking on an animal’s body, usually with scentless paints, […]

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Animal Cognition (.org) explores and covers research on the mental capacities of animals: how animals think, solve problems, understand concepts, communicate, and empathize.