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  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Cats apply physical rule to infer existence or absence of object

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Steerpike, Jun 15, 2016.

  2. edamame

    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    TL;DR Cat hears a rattling sound, expects something to come out of a container. This is measured by the fact that they looked at a rattling container longer than one without a rattling sound, regardless of whether something or not dropped out of it.
     
  3. Lewdog

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Cats also lick their butts...:superlaugh:
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    But they lick it longer if it rattles first.
     
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  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I get that science cannot take intuitive assumption and call it fact, but sometimes these experiments would seem designed only to confirm the obvious. Anyone who owns a cat (or rather, is owned by a cat) knows the reaction a cat will have to making a scratching noise underneath a pillow or blanket. And the other study concerning primates would seem equally obvious. Primates have exceptionally reduced outer ear structures compared to other mammals and for creatures that usually make their living off of gathering, we have, as a group, spectacular vision. You only get vision as good or better than ours when you look at species like raptors that make their living off of high altitude aerial reconnaissance.
     
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  6. Necronox

    Necronox Active Member

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    This all seems like Schrödinger's cat but with balls and noise. Or otherwise "if a tree falls in a forest, but nobody is there to hear the sound. Does it still produce sound?" (the answer is yes, the noise is irrespective if a person is there to hear it, assuming the scientific principles. Same question: If i kill someone but nobody is there to see it. did I still kill someone?) In other words, It's all relativity.

    On a side note, he they do not have that many references, citations or much in his bibliography, but i suppose for such a strange field it's expected. But at least all, except one, are more or less to date. so there it that. Additionally, I'm surprised someone actually wrote a paper on this.

    On to something actually relevant to the topic. It is commonly accepted that many animals really on one or two 'primary' sense of the classic senses (ignoring those like time, etc...) (e.g sight for humans). If a cat's primary sense is hearing, it might be significant in it's thinking process. So it is not surprising, assuming as such, that they received such results.

    On a more irrelevant note. my 100th post! :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think it is in the same category as Schrödinger's cat, which is a thought experiment to illuminate some of the stranger aspects of quantum physics. This is pretty straightforward study on certain cognitive abilities. As @Wreybies noted, this would come as no surprise to cat owners (nor to owners of many other animals), but if you're a scientist studying this sort of thing you have to run a controlled experiment that generates data you can apply your statistical methods to, rather than simply saying "everybody who has cats knows..."

    Congrats on the 100th post @Necronox !
     
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Science sometimes produces very unexpected results when testing something that appears obvious. For example, when they first tested the KT boundary to confirm that it had been produced in a short period of time (as seemed obvious by its thinness), they discovered the crazy amounts of iridium in it and confirmed what had wiped out the dinosaurs--which was NOT obvious.
     
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  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    They also found tiny spheres of glass and characteristics of rocks, like quartz, within the layer that are consistent with an asteroid impact. Pretty cool stuff.
     
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