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添加时间:2020-03-11 20:36:46 浏览次数: 作者:未知
  • New research has found the first strong evidence that cats are sensitive to human emotional gestures.


    Moriah Galvan and Jennifer Vonk of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, US studied 12 cats and their owners. They found that the animals behaved differently when their owner was smiling compared to when they were frowning.

    在美国密歇根州罗彻斯特(Rochester)的奥克兰大学(Oakland University),莫里亚·嘉尔凡(Moriah Galvan)和詹妮弗·冯克(Jennifer Vonk)研究了12只猫及其主人。他们发现主人微笑或皱眉时,猫的反应是不一样的。

    When faced with a smiling owner, the cats were significantly more likely to perform "positive" behaviours such as purring, rubbing or sitting on their owner's lap. They also seemed to want to spend more time close to their owner when they were smiling than when the owner was frowning.



    The findings are published in the journal Animal Cognition.

    该研究成果发表在《动物认知》(Animal Cognition)期刊上。

    The pattern was completely different when the 12 cats were presented with strangers, instead of their owners. In this setup, they showed the same amount of positive behaviour, regardless of whether the person was smiling or frowning.


    The results suggest two things: cats can read human facial expressions, and they learn this ability over time.


    We have known for a while that dogs are good at recognising human facial expressions. But this is the first convincing evidence that cats have the same capacity.


    Before this, only one other study has been done on the ability of cats to perceive human emotional expressions. Published in January 2015, it found ambiguous results.


    Galvan and Vonk's finding suggests that cats are more in tune with human emotions than we thought.


    That does not mean they feel empathy. It's more likely that the cats had learned to associate their owners' smiles with rewards: people are more likely to spoil a cat when they are in a good mood.


    Still, even if cats do not truly understand our moods, the study still suggests that they can pick up on surprisingly nuanced human gestures.


    It also suggests something more basic: they are interested in us.


    "People care about whether cats really do understand and pay attention to their owners," says Vonk. "Our work shows that they may not be as indifferent as people accuse them of being."



    It may have taken so long to discover cats' emotional intelligence because their responses are rather subtle. As well as obviously "positive" actions like purring or rubbing, Galvan and Vonk noticed that the cats adopted certain body positions, and ear and tail movements, that are associated with contentedness1.


    In contrast, scientists have known for several years that dogs respond differently to happy and angry faces. That is at least partly because their responses are more obvious. A 2011 study showed that dogs will actively2 avoid someone who appears angry, rather than just changing their body language.


    The difference between dogs' and cats' responses to human emotions could be rooted in prehistory.


    Dogs have been domesticated3 for a long time. A 2015 genetic4 study suggested that the process began over 30,000 years ago. In contrast, domestic cats first appeared around 10,000 years ago, probably in the Middle East.


    Dogs' stronger responses to our emotional gestures could have arisen simply because they have had longer to adapt to life with humans.


    But for now it is too early to draw conclusions. While there has been plenty of research into dogs' minds, there have been remarkably5 few studies of how cats respond to human gestures.


    They may be our most popular pet but we still have a lot to learn about them: we do not even know why they purr. But this study might go some way to repairing cats' reputation for being uncaring. It may be that they simply do not show their affection for us as much as dogs do.


     7级    双语 


    1 contentedness [] 6e5c5d66ee8ed92e23370f3b4cdbc274   第8级
    • He relaxed in sleepy contentedness. 他在睡意中放松下来。 来自互联网
    • Possession is not important, contentedness is. Be contented in any situation and problems will be away. 拥有什么不重要,最重要的是要有满足心。任何情况下拥有满足心就不会有问题了。 来自互联网
    2 actively ['æktɪvlɪ] lzezni   第9级
    • During this period all the students were actively participating. 在这节课中所有的学生都积极参加。
    • We are actively intervening to settle a quarrel. 我们正在积极调解争执。
    3 domesticated [dəʊ'mestɪkeɪtɪd] Lu2zBm   第10级
    adj.喜欢家庭生活的;(指动物)被驯养了的v.驯化( domesticate的过去式和过去分词 )
    • He is thoroughly domesticated and cooks a delicious chicken casserole. 他精于家务,烹制的砂锅炖小鸡非常可口。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • The donkey is a domesticated form of the African wild ass. 驴是非洲野驴的一种已驯化的品种。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    4 genetic [dʒəˈnetɪk] PgIxp   第7级
    • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases. 遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
    • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information. 每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
    5 remarkably [ri'mɑ:kəbli] EkPzTW   第7级
    • I thought she was remarkably restrained in the circumstances. 我认为她在那种情况下非常克制。
    • He made a remarkably swift recovery. 他康复得相当快。

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