Dogs See the World in Living Color

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dogs foodWe humans may love to accessorize our pets with colored dishes, collars and toys, but the received wisdom is that probably don’t care.

In earlier tests of , scientists reported that color just wasn’t that crucial to in their daily activities. However have two types of cone photoreceptors in their retinas, meaning that they have about as much color vision as a color-blind human. And new research finds that they regularly rely on color cues.

With their two cone types dogs can see blues, greens and yellows, but not any reds and oranges. It has been thought that dogs rely more on brightness than color to differentiate objects.

Now a Russian research team has found, in a study of eight previously untrained dogs, that the animals overwhelmingly preferred using color as a cue rather than brightness.

The team, led by Anna Kasparson of the , began with the dogs outdoors in natural daylight and worked with four colors on paper squares: light yellow, dark yellow, light blue and dark blue. The difference between the lighter and darker colors was stark, thereby ensuring that brightness was a factor in the dogs’ perception.

Going to the dogs

In the first ”training” stage of the experiment, researchers paired two papers that differed in both qualities—dark yellow went with light blue; light yellow went with dark blue. These markers were placed in front of feedboxes that contained

… Continue reading here.
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Comments

    • Puli Silva
    • July 19, 2013

    Sparky is sooo cute! :3

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