Sheep recognize faces of celebrities

09 November, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Becky Perry
  • GETTYCambridge University researchers were astonished to find that sheep have face-recognition abilities

Neuroscientists from the University of Cambridge posted a report in the Royal Society Open Science journal on Tuesday asserting that sheep are capable of distinguishing faces of animals, humans, celebrities and even former President Barak Obama as well.

Sheep learnt to recognise Barack Obama after being shown his photo a few dozen times, said a study on November 8 which suggested our four-legged friends may be smarter than we think. But it's been unclear whether the skill was real recognition or simple memorization. The team is studying sheep with the genetic mutation that causes the disease.

Then the sheep were shown two photographs: one of the celebrity and a random face.

Tapping on the "correct" portrait would reward the sheep with food while choosing the wrong face would result in no food and a sound being played. "This current study adds an interesting new ability to the surprising wide repertoire of behaviour of sheep". When a portrait of the handler was interspersed randomly, the sheep chose them seven out of 10 times.

The research isn't just a silly test, though.

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The Cambridge congregation included eight Welsh Mountain female sheep that learned successfully four different faces of celebrities, during the experiment. She did a double take of both faces before ultimately choosing her handler.

If you ever find yourself in the company of sheep, don't be surprised if they seem to recognize you. The scientists have been rewarded better for measuring the brain functions of sheep.

The researchers say this study of the ability of sheep to recognize faces may be useful in research into Huntington's disease and other human brain disorders that affect mental processing.

The sheep eventually managed to identify the familiar face eight times out of every 10.

The new evidence suggests that sheep can process information about a human face without requiring a 3-D "real person", said Morton.

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