When it comes to studying the animal mind, dogs have traditionally been ignored. For much of the 20th century, researchers considered them too tainted by domestication and human contact. But over the past 15 years, the field of canine cognition has exploded as scientists have shown that dogs can outsmart chimpanzees in some tests and can even shed light on the evolution of our own intellect. What surprising new things are we learning about the canine mind? Are some breeds smarter than others? And did we really domesticate dogs—or was it the other way around?
Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, 28 February, on this page. With us will be two experts in the field of dog cognition, Brian Hare, one of the world's foremost authorities on the canine mind and the author of the new book The Genius of Dogs, and Laurie Santos, who has just opened a dog lab at Yale University. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts. The full text of the chat will be archived on this page.
Brian Hare is an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University and the head of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, one of the world's top institutions for studying the canine mind. He is the author of the just-published The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think.
Laurie Santos is a psychologist at Yale University, where she heads the Comparative Cognition Laboratory. She studies primates and canines for clues to the evolution of the human mind.
David Grimm is the online news editor of Science. He is the author of a forthcoming book on the changing status of cats and dogs in society.