Great (Dane) minds don’t think alike | Science News


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Great (Dane) minds don’t think alike

Female and male dogs react differently to the same thing

7:15pm, April 26, 2011

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Female dogs might have a leg up on males when it comes to detecting the unexpected. In an experiment designed to mess with their furry heads, Fidettes took note of a surprising outcome while Fidos apparently remained oblivious.

The results, which will appear in an upcoming Biology Letters, highlight that like humans, animals also have sex differences in how the brain works.

In the study, researchers led by Corsin Müller of the University of Vienna tested 50 pet dogs, including poodles, Australian shepherds, golden retrievers and mutts. The team designed an experiment to test whether the dogs would notice a ball that inexplicably grew or shrank. In some trials, for instance, a tennis ball-sized ball would roll behind a screen, and after a short wait, a larger ball would appear on the other side. (Young babies don’t seem to notice this violation of how the world normally works, but start to react to the we
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