By James Gorman
Once again, science has confirmed the suspicions of dog-owners that their beloved pets know more than they are letting on. In this case, it has to do with memory, a favorite subject of researchers who study the mental abilities of other animals.
No one doubts that dogs can be trained to remember commands and names of objects. They also remember people and places. But Claudia Fugazza and her colleagues at the Family Dog Project at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest set out to see whether dogs share a more complex kind of memory.
In people it is called episodic memory, and it involves a sense of self. In animals, it’s called episodic-like memory, because it’s difficult to try to plumb something as elusive as self without the aid of language.
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