Does your dog know that it takes twice or thrice of the time more or less every day you come by commute or travel?
Have you ever given a thought why your pets come running towards you as you come back from work?
Why does your pet ask for his meal on a specific time? Why do they wave their tail around when they are walked around or fed? Or why your pet actually jumps on you as you stay late?
If No! Read here-
Well, there is a new research and evidence that suggests that pets; be it your pooch or cat comes with a clear and crisp sense of time. They have timing cells and some undiscovered neurons that start working and make them count the minutes as they wait.
According to a study from the Northwestern University, the researchers say that these neurons are in the medial entorhinal cortex that turns ON simply like a clock when the pets start to wait. However, this discovery was made, as the scientists were studying entorhinal cortex of the mice.
How Do The Pets Sense Time?
The cortex is located in the mid temporal lobe and is also known as a part that is associated with both memory and navigation. This lobe has some components of spatial information is the episodic memories that make it function like a functional inner clock.
Moreover, all the pets, whether you own a cat, dog, mice, they all have this entorhinal cortex and it is quite logical to consider that this region serves the same function in different species.
How Was This Theory Tested?
According to a study published in the Nature Neuroscience Journal’s research, a researcher and his team tried studying the entorhinal cortex of mice.
During the research, the mouse was made to run on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment and the test was known as “door stop task.” The team chose the part of the brain that is located in temporal lobe as this is the area, which is connected to navigation and memory.
So, now by running in that VR environment, the mouse started learning that if he went from hallway to door, the door will open in 6 seconds, and he will receive a reward then.
During the experiment, once the mouse learned where the door was, an invisible door replaced the original door. Now, when the mice could not see the original door, he still made a halt there for six seconds and waited for his reward.
However, the most important point to note is that the mouse does not know when the door is open or close. The only way he has to perform his task efficiently is by using his brains internal sense of mind.
With this research, it was proved that pets have “timing cells” in their brains that makes them aware of the fact of you coming late, not serving them on time and more. However, in addition to this test, the researchers also checked the brain activity of the mouse with the very high resolution-imaging test as well.
As the mice went to turn towards the track of the hallway and the invisible door, there was a firing of cells that control the spatial encoding. Once the firing starts to work, the animal stops at the door, the cells get turned off and are switched ON again.
As the study got published, this came out as one of the most convincing experiments that show animals has a real representation of time in your brain as they are made to challenge a time interval.