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科学美国人60秒: 猫能辨认自己的姓名

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Cats Recognize Their Names—but May Not Respond

猫能辨认自己的姓名

Almost any cat owner will testify to the felines’ apparent indifference to humans when we call their names. But according to a recent study, cats do recognize their names—or at least that we are indeed addressing them. It’s just that they still may not respond.

简直一切的猫主人都会证明,当咱们叫猫的姓名时,它们显着对人类漠然置之。可是依据最近的一项研讨,猫的确能认出自己的姓名——或许至少知道咱们的确在叫它们。仅仅它们或许依然没有回应。

“I think cats associate sounds of their names with some rewards or punishments.”

“我以为猫会把姓名的发音和一些奖赏或赏罚联系起来。”

Atsuko Saito, a behavioral scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo.

前田敦子·齐藤是东京上智大学的行为科学家。

Saito previously demonstrated that cats recognize their owners’ voices. In the new work, she and colleagues investigated the reactions of cats to hearing humans say their names. The study included 78 cats from Japanese households and from a “cat café,” a business where patrons can interact with felines.

齐藤早前证明猫能辨认主人的声响。在这项新研讨中,她和搭档们查询了猫听到人类叫它们的姓名时的反响。这项研讨包含78只来自日本家庭和“猫咖啡馆”的猫,顾客能够在这里与猫互动。

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Saito and her colleagues had owners say four words that sounded similar to their cats’ names until the animals habituated to those words and stopped responding. Next, the owners said the felines’ actual names. And indeed, the cats had more pronounced responses—moving their ears, heads, tails or meowing—than they did to similar words or to other cats’ names. The study is in the journal Scientific Reports.

齐藤和她的搭档让猫的主人说四个听起来和猫的姓名相似的词,直到猫习惯了这些词,不再回应。接下来,主人说出了猫的实在姓名。事实上,猫对相似的词语或其他猫的姓名做出的反响更显着——它们会动耳朵、摇头、摇尾巴或喵喵叫。这项研讨宣布在《科学陈述》杂志上。

The researchers also had people unfamiliar to the cats speak the names. Although the felines’ responses were less prominent than when their owners called them, they still appeared to recognize the words when spoken by strangers. But does that mean the cats know they are being called by name?

研讨人员还让不熟悉猫的人说出猫的姓名。虽然猫咪的反响没有主人叫它们时那么显着,但它们好像仍是能认出陌生人说的话。但这是否意味着这些猫知道自己的姓名?

“There is no evidence that cats have the ability to recognize themselves, like us. So the recognition about their names is different from ours.” But Saito says she thinks we might be able to teach cats to recognize other words in addition to their names. “Our colleagues are investigating whether cats recognize other cohabiting cats’ names.”

没有依据标明猫有像咱们相同辨认自己的才能。所以对姓名的知道和咱们的不同。但齐藤说,她以为咱们或许能够教会猫除了姓名之外,还能辨认其他的单词。“咱们的搭档正在查询猫是否能认出其他同居猫的姓名。”

Could this knowledge mean that humans could eventually train cats to respond to voice commands, the way dogs do? Purr-haps.

这一发现是否意味着人类终究能够像狗相同练习猫对语音指令做出反响呢?Purr-haps(或许吧)。

Cats Recognize Their Names—but May Not Respond

Almost any cat owner will testify to the felines’ apparent indifference to humans when we call their names. But according to a recent study, cats do recognize their names—or at least that we are indeed addressing them. It’s just that they still may not respond.

“I think cats associate sounds of their names with some rewards or punishments.”

Atsuko Saito, a behavioral scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Saito previously demonstrated that cats recognize their owners’ voices. In the new work, she and colleagues investigated the reactions of cats to hearing humans say their names. The study included 78 cats from Japanese households and from a “cat café,” a business where patrons can interact with felines.

Saito and her colleagues had owners say four words that sounded similar to their cats’ names until the animals habituated to those words and stopped responding. Next, the owners said the felines’ actual names. And indeed, the cats had more pronounced responses—moving their ears, heads, tails or meowing—than they did to similar words or to other cats’ names. The study is in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers also had people unfamiliar to the cats speak the names. Although the felines’ responses were less prominent than when their owners called them, they still appeared to recognize the words when spoken by strangers. But does that mean the cats know they are being called by name?

“There is no evidence that cats have the ability to recognize themselves, like us. So the recognition about their names is different from ours.” But Saito says she thinks we might be able to teach cats to recognize other words in addition to their names. “Our colleagues are investigating whether cats recognize other cohabiting cats’ names.”

Could this knowledge mean that humans could eventually train cats to respond to voice commands, the way dogs do? Purr-haps.


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