Written by 7:08 am Pet

Do Rescue Dogs Remember Their Past?

It’s no secret that animals have a memory. But do they remember their past? While it can be difficult to know for sure, scientists have found evidence that suggests dogs do indeed have episodic memory, which involves the ability to recall events and experiences from your past.

Episodic memory is one of three types of declarative memory: the others are semantic and procedural. Semantic memory refers to general knowledge about the world (e.g., what an apple is), while procedural memory is how we learn skills (e.g., riding a bike). Episodic memory allows us to recall specific events from our past, such as where we were when 9/11 happened or what we did on vacation last year.

The study of episodic memory in animals was pioneered by Elizabeth Loftus, who showed that humans could be tricked into thinking they had committed crimes that never happened. In one famous case, she convinced someone that he had been involved in setting fire to his mother’s barn when he was 13 years old — even though he had been on vacation with his family at the time of the alleged crime!

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Last modified: September 25, 2022