Breaking

Ewe look familiar: Study shows sheep can recognize human faces

Latest news

    Researchers at Cambridge University have trained eight female Welsh mountain sheep to recognize four celebrities and distinguish them from unfamiliar people.

    “Face recognition is a sophisticated process, but they’ve got big brains, they see other sheep, and they use this processing to recognize one another,” Cambridge University Professor Jenny Morton, one of the study’s authors, told The Guardian.

    The research was published today in Royal Society Open Science, and scientists said the work might have implications for learning about neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s, two neurodegenerative diseases.

    In the study, the sheep were trained to recognize Emma Watson, Barack Obama, Jake Gyllenhaal and the British journalist Fiona Bruce.

    During the experiment, the sheep were presented with two screens on the wall. One screen would randomly show the face of one of the four celebrities and the other would remain blank, display an object or display the face of an unknown person.

    If the sheep correctly identified Watson, for example, they were rewarded with food pellets. Video of the tests shows the sheep looking at both pictures before trotting toward one and breaking an infrared beam with their noses, thus releasing the reward. If they chose incorrectly, a buzzer rang and the sheep left the area without a treat.

    Researchers then tested the same celebrities from different angles. When presented with the straight-on facial shot from training, the sheep recognized the celebrities 80 percent of the time. But when a photo was slightly off to the side, that number dropped to 67 percent.

    Finally, researchers wanted to know if the sheep could pick out their handlers from unfamiliar faces without being trained. With slightly less conviction and occasional double takes, researchers found that the sheep could identify their handlers too.

    Morton said researchers are hopeful the findings can help them understand how neurodegenerative diseases affect humans’ ability to recognize faces as well.

    View the original article: http://abcnews.go.com/International/ewe-familiar-study-shows-sheep-recognize-human-faces/story?id=51014914

    “We’re hoping that with treatments that improve Huntington’s pathology, we’ll see the reversal of some of the cognitive changes,” Morton told The Guardian. “We want to understand how the disease starts so we can start thinking about preventing it.”

    In the same category are

    European official calls Trump’s ‘foe’ comment ‘fake news’ Senior European officials tell ABC News they're starting to see President Donald Trump as separate from the United States, and are instead focusing on...
    Apparent protester removed ahead of Trump-Putin conference An apparent protester has been escorted out of a joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.The i...
    Trump casts doubt on US intelligence, calls Putin’s meddling denial ‘strong’ President Donald Trump said he addressed Russia's interference in the U.S. 2016 election and that President Vladmir Putin was "extremely strong" in hi...
    Massive iceberg threatening Greenland village moves away from coast A massive iceberg that has been floating close to a village in Greenland and threatening its residents appears to be veering away from the coast, towa...
    33 passengers hospitalized after Ryanair flight depressurizes Over 30 passengers were hospitalized, with some complaining about bleeding from their ears, after a Ryanair plane experienced "inflight depressurizati...
    ‘Superman’ doctor who cared for soccer team in cave reunites with boys in hospital The "Superman" army doctor who took care of 12 boys and their soccer coach while they were trapped in a Thai cave shared a glimpse of their emotional ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.