Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function

Daniel J. Horschler, Brian Hare, Josep Call, Juliane Kaminski, A. Miklósi, Evan L. MacLean

???family-name???: Article

Abstract

Large-scale phylogenetic studies of animal cognition have revealed robust links between absolute brain volume and species differences in executive function. However, past comparative samples have been composed largely of primates, which are characterized by evolutionarily derived neural scaling rules. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether positive associations between brain volume and executive function reflect a broad-scale evolutionary phenomenon, or alternatively, a unique consequence of primate brain evolution. Domestic dogs provide a powerful opportunity for investigating this question due to their close genetic relatedness, but vast intraspecific variation. Using citizen science data on more than 7000 purebred dogs from 74 breeds, and controlling for genetic relatedness between breeds, we identify strong relationships between estimated absolute brain weight and breed differences in cognition. Specifically, larger-brained breeds performed significantly better on measures of short-term memory and self-control. However, the relationships between estimated brain weight and other cognitive measures varied widely, supporting domain-specific accounts of cognitive evolution. Our results suggest that evolutionary increases in brain size are positively associated with taxonomic differences in executive function, even in the absence of primate-like neuroanatomy. These findings also suggest that variation between dog breeds may present a powerful model for investigating correlated changes in neuroanatomy and cognition among closely related taxa.

???language???English
???journalAssociation???Animal cognition
???DOIs???
???publicationStatus???Accepted/In press - jan. 1 2019

Fingerprint

breed differences
Executive Function
dog breeds
brain
Dogs
cognition
Brain
primate
Cognition
Primates
Neuroanatomy
breeds
relatedness
genetic relationships
Weights and Measures
dogs
intraspecific variation
purebreds
Short-Term Memory
interspecific variation

Keywords

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

    Cite this

    Horschler, D. J., Hare, B., Call, J., Kaminski, J., Miklósi, A., & MacLean, E. L. (???statusAcceptedInPress???). Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function. Animal cognition. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-018-01234-1

    Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function. / Horschler, Daniel J.; Hare, Brian; Call, Josep; Kaminski, Juliane; Miklósi, A.; MacLean, Evan L.

    ???in???: Animal cognition, 01.01.2019.

    ???family-name???: Article

    Horschler, Daniel J. ; Hare, Brian ; Call, Josep ; Kaminski, Juliane ; Miklósi, A. ; MacLean, Evan L. / Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function. ???in???: Animal cognition. 2019.
    @article{3c4852b6bacc4b6a859889f38ddbeaf4,
    title = "Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function",
    abstract = "Large-scale phylogenetic studies of animal cognition have revealed robust links between absolute brain volume and species differences in executive function. However, past comparative samples have been composed largely of primates, which are characterized by evolutionarily derived neural scaling rules. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether positive associations between brain volume and executive function reflect a broad-scale evolutionary phenomenon, or alternatively, a unique consequence of primate brain evolution. Domestic dogs provide a powerful opportunity for investigating this question due to their close genetic relatedness, but vast intraspecific variation. Using citizen science data on more than 7000 purebred dogs from 74 breeds, and controlling for genetic relatedness between breeds, we identify strong relationships between estimated absolute brain weight and breed differences in cognition. Specifically, larger-brained breeds performed significantly better on measures of short-term memory and self-control. However, the relationships between estimated brain weight and other cognitive measures varied widely, supporting domain-specific accounts of cognitive evolution. Our results suggest that evolutionary increases in brain size are positively associated with taxonomic differences in executive function, even in the absence of primate-like neuroanatomy. These findings also suggest that variation between dog breeds may present a powerful model for investigating correlated changes in neuroanatomy and cognition among closely related taxa.",
    keywords = "Brain evolution, Brain size, Breed differences, Citizen science, Cognitive evolution, Executive function",
    author = "Horschler, {Daniel J.} and Brian Hare and Josep Call and Juliane Kaminski and A. Mikl{\'o}si and MacLean, {Evan L.}",
    year = "2019",
    month = "1",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1007/s10071-018-01234-1",
    language = "English",
    journal = "Animal Cognition",
    issn = "1435-9448",
    publisher = "Springer Verlag",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function

    AU - Horschler, Daniel J.

    AU - Hare, Brian

    AU - Call, Josep

    AU - Kaminski, Juliane

    AU - Miklósi, A.

    AU - MacLean, Evan L.

    PY - 2019/1/1

    Y1 - 2019/1/1

    N2 - Large-scale phylogenetic studies of animal cognition have revealed robust links between absolute brain volume and species differences in executive function. However, past comparative samples have been composed largely of primates, which are characterized by evolutionarily derived neural scaling rules. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether positive associations between brain volume and executive function reflect a broad-scale evolutionary phenomenon, or alternatively, a unique consequence of primate brain evolution. Domestic dogs provide a powerful opportunity for investigating this question due to their close genetic relatedness, but vast intraspecific variation. Using citizen science data on more than 7000 purebred dogs from 74 breeds, and controlling for genetic relatedness between breeds, we identify strong relationships between estimated absolute brain weight and breed differences in cognition. Specifically, larger-brained breeds performed significantly better on measures of short-term memory and self-control. However, the relationships between estimated brain weight and other cognitive measures varied widely, supporting domain-specific accounts of cognitive evolution. Our results suggest that evolutionary increases in brain size are positively associated with taxonomic differences in executive function, even in the absence of primate-like neuroanatomy. These findings also suggest that variation between dog breeds may present a powerful model for investigating correlated changes in neuroanatomy and cognition among closely related taxa.

    AB - Large-scale phylogenetic studies of animal cognition have revealed robust links between absolute brain volume and species differences in executive function. However, past comparative samples have been composed largely of primates, which are characterized by evolutionarily derived neural scaling rules. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether positive associations between brain volume and executive function reflect a broad-scale evolutionary phenomenon, or alternatively, a unique consequence of primate brain evolution. Domestic dogs provide a powerful opportunity for investigating this question due to their close genetic relatedness, but vast intraspecific variation. Using citizen science data on more than 7000 purebred dogs from 74 breeds, and controlling for genetic relatedness between breeds, we identify strong relationships between estimated absolute brain weight and breed differences in cognition. Specifically, larger-brained breeds performed significantly better on measures of short-term memory and self-control. However, the relationships between estimated brain weight and other cognitive measures varied widely, supporting domain-specific accounts of cognitive evolution. Our results suggest that evolutionary increases in brain size are positively associated with taxonomic differences in executive function, even in the absence of primate-like neuroanatomy. These findings also suggest that variation between dog breeds may present a powerful model for investigating correlated changes in neuroanatomy and cognition among closely related taxa.

    KW - Brain evolution

    KW - Brain size

    KW - Breed differences

    KW - Citizen science

    KW - Cognitive evolution

    KW - Executive function

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85059667263&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85059667263&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1007/s10071-018-01234-1

    DO - 10.1007/s10071-018-01234-1

    M3 - Article

    JO - Animal Cognition

    T2 - Animal Cognition

    JF - Animal Cognition

    SN - 1435-9448

    ER -