Ever wondered why your dog doesn’t remember being told off? Chances are your pooch has forgotten! New research shows that dogs only remember for two minutes!
On an average, the short-term memory of animals does not exceed 27 seconds. Dogs are at the top end of the scale with a memory of around 120 seconds.
The animal brain retains information that is important to their survival. Unlike humans, animals don’t tend to remember specific events.
We’ve seen chimpanzees learn to do amazing things, but the study surprisingly concludes that they are right at the bottom of the memory-span scale – they remember for only 20 seconds! Being our closest living ancestors, this suggests that human memory evolved independently.
The study involved 25 species – from pigeons to dolphins – and came to the conclusion that animals have an average memory span of just 27 seconds.
“When it comes to short-term memory, it seems to work almost the same for all animals,” said associate professor of ethology at Stockholm University, Johan Lind.
Professor Lind was surprised by the poor performance of chimpanzees. I his words, “it’s a bit surprising that apes do not remember better than rats, but the results are clear.”
However, he asserted that human memory was fairly long.
Research Showing Dogs Only Remember For Two Minutes
This is how the research team conducted the trials.
- The experiments started with a red dot viewed as a stimulus.
- An animal was made to see it.
- The red dot then disappeared.
- After a while, two objects appear. One was the red dot and the other was a black square.
- When the animal was able to select the red dot after the break, he was rewarded.
The study established that memory in different animals varied considerably both in short and long term. When it comes to specialized memories, the study demonstrated that each animal had a memory system capable of processing only a specific type of information over an extended period of time.
Here’s an example: A crow hoarding food can recall the location of nuts it has secretly stored for months. However, the crow has difficulty remembering things unrelated to survival for even a minute.
“This seems to apply to all animals except man,’ claims Magnus Enqvist, professor of Ethology at Stockholm University.