Dogs’ brains have evolved to become smaller due to their adaptation to urbanization and a more social and connected environment.
Dogs bred since the industrial revolution tend to have larger brains compared to earlier breeds. This is the result of selective breeding practices that focus on size and intelligence.
Creatures that have been domesticated often show a decrease in brain size, which is believed to be related to the environment they were exposed to. This phenomenon has become well known as an example of how the environment can play a role in reducing an animal’s cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, not much is known about how brain size changes as a result of domestication or whether the effects of domestication can be minimized through artificial selection.
The dog brain size study
Researchers in Sweden and Hungary performed an analysis of CT images of the skulls of various dog and wolf breeds to determine the answer. Their study was published in the journal evolution.
Thus, the research found that long-bred dog breeds are likely to have smaller brain volumes than those that are genetically more distant from their wolf relatives. This assumption is based on findings that modern dogs have larger brains than their ancient counterparts. Neuroscience News.
“Different dog breeds live at different levels of social complexity and perform complex tasks, likely requiring greater brain power.,” explained Niclas Kolm of Stockholm University.
“We therefore hypothesize that selective pressures in the brain may vary within dog species, and we may find differences in brain size between breeds based on the tasks they perform or their genetic distance from wolves.“he added.
According to the researchers, this finding confirms previous research suggesting that older dog breeds are more independent, respond less to human signals and bark less, which could mean that their brain activities are less intense.
With information from https://actualidad.rt.com/