You spy with your little eye – dogs can adopt the perspective of humans

Humans are able to interpret the behaviour of others by attributing mental states to them. In the animal kingdom, the ability to attribute mental states (Theory of Mind) is a highly contentious issue. Cognitive biologists from Vetmeduni Vienna could now prove that dogs are not only able to identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and knows about hidden food. They can also apply this knowledge in order to correctly interpret cues by humans and find food they cannot see themselves. This perspective taking ability is an important component of social intelligence. It helps dogs to cope with the human environment. Published in Animal Cognition. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)