Illustration from the book "Americana", 1908
What do cats and Sherlock Holmes? How much information is stored in their "mind Palace"? How does a cat's memory.
Yesterday I somehow reminded of one of the first disputes to learn about cats. I argued with the lady about the punishment for cats. The lady believed that cats understand human speech, and understand why she is punishing them, when arriving home, she finds a puddle or a broken flower pot. She fiercely tried to prove to me that cats have the memory of a goldfish, and she remembers everything that made the day so she understands when came 12 hours later mistress, ohazhivat her towel laid out the morning pot.
I tried in vain to prove that the punishment (if it applies) should be carried out during or a few seconds after the act of unwanted behavior. And Yes, this is due to the cat's memory that do not like goldfish, but not like humans.
The fact that the cat really doesn't understand that her action is unwanted behavior. In her brain, in principle, there is no such thing. The cat is designed so that any of its behavior serves any purpose. In the world of cats is not a fragile crystal vases, expensive bed linen or leather sofas that you can spoil. The world for which they were created, it's nature... there's no crack at the ears, if you are sharpening its claws on a tree, eat grass and leaves of plants or writing where you felt more comfortable and safer. There are no owners who can assess the behavior and to bear for it punishment.
That's why we are not based in the education on memory or the mind of a cat. They are not designed to do such complex insights on how to do people. When raising cats, we need only to fix her brain reflexes, that is, to make a certain object corresponds to a particular reaction.
For example, a plant in a flower pot that the cat is trying to eat, must be associated with something tasteless, so we can be ahead of his special bitter spray. A scratching post should be associated with something pleasant, so manufacturers often RUB Catnip scratching posts to a new subject attracted the cat and left a good impression. These impressions are fixed on a subconscious level. Cat look at an object and it gets an Association is pleasant is the object or not, safe or not... It works almost as well as simple reflexes in humans.
In childhood we don't know yet if milk steaming, it's hot and you have to blow... but experience makes us one SIP of this milk and we have for a lifetime to remember the sequence of actions and reactions. In 30 years we don't have to build a complex chain of reasoning in mind that steam coming from the milk, then the milk is hot, it is necessary to blow. If we see pairs, we automatically already when the wind blows. Thus we implement a variety of unconscious actions. A cat's brain is developed in such a way that it works on the principle that these unconscious actions. She sees the subject and responds.
Generally, the first contact with a new thing or person the cat is usually the most important. That's why I write a lot about how to introduce cats to each other, with new people, children, things. After all, if the first contact is negative, it will be very difficult to convince the animal that the object is safe. The subcortex has already written a reaction to this object and to delete it and rewrite, you will need weeks, months, maybe even years. Cats are very good at remembering events that painted a vivid markers of pain, fear or pleasure. The fact that a cat's brain only remembers a certain number of events that are required for security and a comfortable life. It does not remember whole days, as we are, she remembers what is useful to her in the future.
For example, a cat which has already raised kittens, the next litter will grow even better, as she has accumulated the necessary experience. The cat quickly and clearly remembers where it is a tray, where there are bowls with food and water, where the owner keeps the treats. But the cat doesn't remember what jacket goes the hostess, does not remember your first meeting, does not remember the guests that came once or twice and didn't make any impressions. But the cat will remember the guest who accidentally stepped on her tail. And don't be surprised if the next visit, she will attack him with a hiss.
What can I say, the cat doesn't even remember their brothers, sisters, mom and own kittens if they are separated for some time. All this is because in nature, cats mother, brother, friend — they are not relatives, and competitors for resources and territory. And the cat with them is not going to share, otherwise it will not survive. But the color of the blouse of her beloved mistress will not affect the safety, survival and comfort — that's why the cat is his and doesn't remember, it simply doesn't matter.
It is believed that the memory of cats is much less than the amount of memory, but it uses its memory much more skilled. Remember, as the famous Sherlock Holmes? "I don't know that the sun revolves around the earth or the earth around the sun, because it is not useful to me for work, it's useless information that only takes place". Cats operate on the principle of Sherlock Holmes. All information that is not useful to the cat's survival, is subject to strict filtering and instantly forgotten. But all I need for life is stored in the "mind Palace" (Ah, I obviously Sherlock revised). And the cat, when a certain object, immediately remove from their "palaces" everything that is connected with it and instantly react. Man, unlike cats, Dana is such a joy, as the voluntary reproduction of memories. That is, we can remember the moments spent with your mom, and how-to watch in my mind movie. A cat can not. She lives in the here and now, she will react to her mom only when I see her, but she hardly even remembers that this stranger cat once she nursed and raised..