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Your Dog Forgot the Hug You Just Gave Him

Study finds animals have short short-term memory spans

When it comes to short-term memory, animals have very short ones indeed. A new meta-analysis examined more than 90 memory experiments carried out on 25 species encompassing birds, mammals, and bees. Researchers at Stockholm University and Brooklyn College found that for dogs, events are forgotten after about two minutes—and that’s on the long end of the spectrum. The average memory duration for all animals studied is 27 seconds, with chimps’ memory as short as 20 seconds; that’s a length of time that rats beat, reports the National Geographic. Humans subjected to similar studies have had no problem remembering a sample stimulus they had seen as many as two days prior. In fact, based on these findings, “we think humans’ ability to remember arbitrary events is unique,” one researcher says. Read on

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