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你的狗可能真的听不懂人话

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2019年05月15日

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Sometimes I call my dog's name when he's hanging out on the couch or nearby in the yard and he doesn't even turn his head. I'm not sure if he doesn't hear me, isn't listening or is just being ... well, my dog.

有时候,当狗狗在沙发上或者院子附近闲逛的时候,你会叫它的名字,但它不一定会转头回应你。你不确定它能不能听到你,是不是在听,或者只是装作不知道?哎,这让人烦恼的狗儿。

你的狗可能真的听不懂人话

It turns out that dogs truly have no problem picking their names out, even in a noisy environment. It's called "the cocktail party effect" and they're good at it.

但事实证明,即使在嘈杂的环境中,狗狗们也能毫不费力地从各种声音中分辨出自己的名字。这就是所谓的"鸡尾酒会效应",他们很擅长这个。

Imagine you're in a noisy room and people are chattering all around you. You pretty much ignore the mindless babble and start drifting away until you hear your name. Your ears (figuratively) perk up.

想象你身处一个嘈杂的房间,人们在你周围喋喋不休。你几乎快忽略了那些无意识的低语,然后准备默默离开。但你突然听到自己的名字,耳朵便在这一瞬间竖起来了。

Dogs are the same way. So found a new study published in the journal Animal Cognition.

发表在《动物认知志》上的一项新研究表明,狗狗亦如此。

Researchers at the University of Maryland had human and canine volunteers sit in a booth between two speakers. Scientists played a recording of either the dog's name or another name with the same number of syllables and similar stress pattern. (Like "Henry" and "Sasha.") The recordings had three levels of background noise that increasingly got louder.

马里兰大学学院市分校的研究人员让实验者和实验犬坐在两个讲话者之间的一个摊位上。 接着,研究人员播放了一段录音,录音内容包括狗的名字或者另外一个有着相同音节数和相似重音模式的名字(比如“Henry”和“Sasha”)。 这些录音有多达三个层次的背景噪音,并且层次越高,噪音越大。

The dogs turned toward the speaker when they heard their names. It was only at the third level, when the background noise was louder than their name, that they didn't respond.

狗狗们听到他们的名字时,转向了说话的人。并且只有在第三层时,即背景噪音比他们的名字还大时,他们才没反应了。

By contrast, adults were able to pick out their names no matter how loud the background. Babies, however, could only recognize their names at the lowest level.

相比之下,不管背景声音有多大,人都能听出自己的名字。但婴儿只能在最底层(即第一层)认出自己的名字。

"Dogs are social creatures who pay attention to the adults around them and have evolved to do so," said co-author Rochelle Newman, professor and chair of the University of Maryland Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, to Maryland Today. "In some sense, they are a really good comparison to infants."

狗是社会性动物,它们会关注周围的成年人,并且已经慢慢进化到可以这样做了,”合著者Rochelle Newman说。他是马里兰大学学院市分校听力和言语科学系的教授和主席。“从某种意义上说,它们的确与婴儿有得一比。”

For the study, researchers used pet dogs, as well as service and working dogs. Interestingly, service and working dogs performed better than garden-variety pets.

在这项研究中,研究人员的研究对象包括宠物狗、服务犬和工作犬。有趣的是,服务犬和工作犬的表现比宠物狗要好。

This is probably because those dogs have more training and also because handlers tend to use their proper names more consistently instead of nicknames, researchers told National Geographic. So they're used to responding only to their names versus the cute monikers we tend to call our pets.

研究人员告诉国家地理杂志,这可能是因为这些狗受过的训练更多,也因为训练者倾向于更一致地使用它们的专有名字而不是昵称。所以他们习惯于只回应自己本身的名字,这样一来,我们对宠物狗的可爱昵称,反而成了它们辨别自己名字的“绊脚石”。

Researchers were able to conclude several things from the study.

研究人员从这项研究中得出了如下几个结论:

First, they said, infants likely struggled in the loud environment due to where they are in their development, not because of a lack of language skills. After all, they said, "Dogs don't have language either and are doing better."

首先,婴儿在嘈杂的环境中哭闹,可能是因为他们正在成长,而不是因为缺乏语言技能。毕竟,“狗也不会啥语言,而且表现得更好。"

They also had advice for people who work with their dogs. It's simple, but it makes sense. If you're in a loud situation, you probably have to raise your voice or move closer to your four-legged companion if surrounding noise makes it hard to be heard. They point out this is especially key if you're dealing with a service or working dog.

他们还给那些与自己的狗一起工作的人提供了建议。看似简单,却很有道理:如果周围的噪音盖过了你的声音,你必须得提高嗓门或者靠近你的狗;此外,如果你面对的是一只服务犬或工作犬,这一点尤为关键。

And for those of us exasperated when our dogs seem to ignore our calls, co-author and doctoral student Amritha Mallikarjun tells NatGeo:"Dog owners shouldn't be frustrated if their dog doesn't respond to his or her name in a noisy environment like busy city streets or crowded parks," she says. "Your dog isn't being stubborn — he actually might not be able to understand you."

合著者Amritha Mallikarjun告诉NatGeo:“对于一些人来说,当狗狗忽略我们的叫唤时,我们会感到非常愤怒。但如果狗主人在嘈杂的环境中叫唤狗狗,比如繁忙的城市街道或拥挤的公园,狗没有反应,他们也不应该感到沮丧。你的狗狗并不是故意不理你,它可能是真的听不懂你的话。”


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