Feline Memories Found to be Fleeting - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Cats Your scratching post for anything feline related!

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 08-22-2007, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
Adolescent Pup
Snakes Inc's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cape Town / South Africa
Posts: 203
Feline Memories Found to be Fleeting

Feline Memories Found to be Fleeting

The research was designed primarily to compare cats' working memory of their recent movements with their visual memories, and found that cats remember better with their bodies than their eyes when they have encountered an object placed in their path by say, an annoying owner or experimenter.
When a cat steps over a stray toy or shoe left on the floor on the way to its food dish, it has to coordinate the stepping action of its front legs with its hind legs.
"Animals, including humans, unconsciously keep track of the location of objects relative to the body as they move, and this tracking is largely dependent on signals associated with movement of the body," said researcher Keir Pearson of the University of Alberta in Canada.

Though researchers were aware of this association, they wondered exactly how kitty remembers to bring her hind legs up after her front legs have cleared an obstacle.
To test cats' coordination, the researchers looked at how well they could remember having just stepped over a hurdle. The researchers stopped cats after their front legs had cleared an obstacle, but before their hind legs went over.

They then distracted the animals with food and lowered the obstacle to see how the tabbies would respond. The cats remembered having stepped over the hurdle for at least 10 minutes, bringing their hind legs up to clear the object, even though it wasn't there.
To compare this working memory to the cats' visual memory of the obstacle, the researchers repeated the experiment, this time stopping the cats just before they made their first step over the hurdle.

Turns out the cats weren't so good at remembering what they had seen but not yet done: when the obstacle was removed this time, the cats forgot it had even been there in the first place and continued on their way.
"There's not high-stepping at all," Pearson told LiveScience.
"We've found that the long-lasting memory for guiding hind legs over an obstacle requires stepping of the forelegs over the obstacle," Pearson said. "The main surprise was how short lasting the visual memory on its own wasójust a few seconds when animals were stopped before their forelegs stepped over the obstacle."

Research with horses and dogs has shown similar results, Pearson said.
Similar memories may play a role in humans' ability to navigate objects in the dark or remember where they parked their car in the morning.
By actually walking from your car into your office, you solidify the memory of what space your car is in and don't spend half an hour looking for itówell, not usually.

Feline Memories Found to be Fleeting - Yahoo! News

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Snakes Inc is offline  
Sponsored Links

hind legs

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome