Feel Good Sunday from Straight from the Horse’s Heart Blog: How Smart Are Horses?

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Barbara J. King as published on NPR.org

“This study is the first to show that horses possess some cognitive basis for this ability of understanding others’ knowledge state in social communication with humans,” 

Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Dogs are celebrated everywhere these days for the clever things they and their brains can do, and the science of dog cognition continues to soar in popularity.

As a cat person, I can’t help but add that cats, too, show off their savviness for science.

Now, some cognitive scientists are asking about another domesticated animal companion that’s been comparatively neglected: horses.

Japanese scientists Monamie Ringhofer and Shinya Yamamoto of Kobe University have published online in the journal Animal Cognition the results of the first research to investigate how horses respond to the state of knowledge or ignorance of their human companions. The results are impressive.

Ringhofer…

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