Friday Faves May 15, 2015

Goldfish vs. Humans: But can they multi-task?

Every now and then I find a click bait study pretty amusing. A new study (including measuring human brain activity) finds that over the last 15 years or so, our attention spans have gotten even shorter (from 12 seconds to 8 seconds). The culprit? Perhaps cell phones and the huge amount of information we try to take in by staying "connected." Goldfish, who haven't been impacted by changes in technology, are still holding strong with 9 seconds of attention to give to a task. The Onion had something to say too.

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What pets provide...for the young

bbcA longitudinal study showed that many children were more likely to confide in their pets than their siblings; due to the changing nature of family relationships, more children in the US live with a pet than with two parents, meaning that the role of pets may also be changing. The relationship that children had with their pets was particularly important in families that had gone through divorce or loss of a family member.


...and for the old

More seniors want to live with pets and retirement centers and RV parks are responding by being more accommodating to fuzzy companions.

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Where do cats go?

The Cat Tracker study is an ongoing project that uses GPS technology to track the movements of pet cats out of doors, in the US, Australia, and the UK. While I believe that it is better and safer for all kitties to live indoors or have controlled access to the outdoors, this study is giving us very interesting information on both the behavior patterns of cats who go outside, as well as on individual differences between cats (some prefer to stay close to home, others like to wander).

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