Tuesday, Jan 23 2018 | Updated at 10:23 AM EST

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Dogs have episodic memory just like humans

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology have evidence that dogs have the same kind of "episodic memory" that allows humans to remember and recall events from the past, even when those events didn't hold any particular importance when they occurred. The study found that dogs can recall a person's complex actions even when they don't need to. Researchers used a trick called "do as I do"; dogs trained to do this watched a person perform an action and then copied it, for example jumping. Next, they trained the dogs to lie down after watching a human action, no matter what it was. After the dogs had learned to lie down, the researchers surprised them by saying "Do it" and the dogs did. Showing the dogs recalled what they'd seen the person do even though they had no particular reason to think they'd need to remember. This phase showed episodic memory.

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