From the WebMD Archives
Dogs are smarter than cats, according to a new study that may settle a debate that’s long had the fur flying between dog and cat lovers.
U.S. researchers assessed different carnivorous animals to determine how many neurons they have in the cerebral cortex, which is the largest part of the brain and is associated with thinking, planning and other complex behaviors, the Daily Mail newspaper in the U.K. reported.
The number of cortical neurons is a hallmark of intelligence, the Vanderbilt University team said. They found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million. Humans have about 16 billion.
In terms of brain size to cortical neuron ratio, the researchers found that one of the most intelligent animals is the raccoon. Their brain is the same size as a cat, but their cortical neuron density is similar to that of a dog, the Daily Mail reported.