Printer Friendly

Average dog or canine Einstein?

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? At least one senior canine is a quick study when it comes to vocabulary. Researchers in Germany have found that Rico, a 9-year-old border collie, listens and learns much like a human child. In one try, he learned the name of a new object by a process of elimination. Told to fetch an unfamiliar object with a name he had not heard before, Rico picked out the new item from a group of familiar ones. More importantly, he proved in other tests that he remembered what he had learned, says Julia Fischer, a member of the research team. Rico displays "fast mapping"--a kind of learning that scientists thought was exclusively human. Rico's ability suggests otherwise. It was his performance retrieving objects on a German game show that brought him to Fischer's attention. Are other dogs just as gifted? For now, researchers' conclusions are limited to Rico; they cannot be applied to dogs in general, until. more research is done. Rico might be a special, case among dogs, Fischer says, adding, "Maybe he's Albert Einstein."
COPYRIGHT 2004 Scholastic, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Science
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Nov 15, 2004
Previous Article:Noted & quoted.
Next Article:Science for the mind, music for the soul.

Related Articles
Orange you glad? Fido sees the blues.
Stalking the ancient dog: man's friend may go way back.
Does Your Dog Really Love You?
Epidemiology of urban canine Rabies, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 1972-1997. (Research).
Canine diaspora from East Asia to Americas. (Three Dog Eves).
Antibody testing and Lyme disease risk.
Sensing technology has yet to beat a dog's nose.
Canine coronavirus highly pathogenic for dogs.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters