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天生就是酷?科学家称猫听得懂主人叫名字但置之不理

Chris Morris 2019年04月16日

东京的一位心理学家认定猫知道主人在叫自己的名字,只不过回应方式跟狗截然不同。

猫给人的印象就是酷,时而冷漠时而亲近,有时又很固执。但无论是爱猫的主人,还是讨厌猫的人,从来就没有弄清楚过猫到底知不知道人类起的名字。现在科学家也许可以回答这个问题。

东京的一位心理学家研究了生活在不同地区的猫,大概有78只,认定猫知道主人在叫自己的名字,只不过回应方式跟狗截然不同。

也就是说,如果猫在抓着主人新买的窗帘往上爬时听到主人喊它的名字,它并不是听不懂,只是不愿意服从主人的命令。

东京上智大学的心理学家齐藤慈子先让猫听人说四个词,然后叫名字,观察期间的叫声和动作,发现猫在听到第一个词的时候反应强烈,对后面几个词的反应一般。听到自己的名字时反应再次加剧,耳朵向叫出名字的方向扭动或者头转过去,说明猫其实听懂了自己的名字。

不过也有科学家认为,猫不会把名字当成自己的一部分,或许可以解释为何听到主人叫唤名字也无动于衷。

根据2017年的一项研究,猫的冷漠和狗的反应相比简直是天壤之别。美国埃默里大学的一位神经学家发现,狗真的很爱主人。

该大学对狗的行为研究比齐藤慈子对猫的研究范围要广泛得多,部分原因是狗比猫回应更加积极。科学家们已经发现,狗的性格会随年龄增长而变化,并且认为狗比猫聪明得多。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

Cats have a trademark on cool. They can be aloof, affectionate or obstinate. But both their loving owners and most ardent opponents have never really known whether they understand their own names. Scientists now might have the answer.

A psychologist in Tokyo, after studying some 78 cats in a variety of locations, has determined that felines can distinguish their own names when owners speak them. But they don’t respond to them in the same way, say, a dog would.

It’s not that your cat doesn’t hear you call its name when he or she is clawing its way up your new drapes. It just doesn’t feel like acknowledging you.

Atsuko Saito, a psychologist at Sophia University in Tokyo, tracked vocalizations and movements of felines as they were played four nouns, then their name. Cats reacted strongly to the first word, but less to the following ones. When their name was spoken, however, reactions increased again, with ears twitching or heads turning toward the sound, indicating comprehension.

Other scientists, though, say cats don’t associate their name as part of their identity, which might explain why they seem to ignore their owners when called.

The aloofness of cats is a far cry from a 2017 study on dogs, when an Emory University neuroscientist found that canines truly do love their owners.

Behavioral research on dogs is much more extensive than it is on cats, in part because dogs are much more reactive. Scientists have learned that dogs personalities change with age and believe that dogs are significantly smarter than cats.

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