Friday, October 03, 2014

Anderson Cooper's 60 Minutes Report on Dog Intelligence To Air Sunday, October 5, 2014

From ~


How smart is your dog?
Anderson Cooper meets a dog who knows the names of over a thousand different toys

Your dog is a lot smarter than you think, though he or she is probably not as smart as Chaser, who may be the smartest dog in the world. Scientists are just beginning to understand how smart dogs really are. Chaser has a vocabulary more than twice that of a two-year-old child. Anderson Cooper reports on Chaser and some of the fascinating things researchers are learning about man's best friend in a story to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network.

John Pilley, a retired psychology professor, has worked with his border collie, Chaser, for several years and trained the dog to recognize the names of over a thousand toys. "My best metaphor is this is a two-year-old toddler," Pilley tells Cooper. "She's our child." The "child" is familiar enough with the names of 800 cloth toys, 116 different balls and over a hundred plastic toys to be able to pick the one named by Pilley out of a pile on the floor. Pilley demonstrates Chaser's skill with several different toys.

A two-year-old child generally knows about 300 words. Chaser is using the same skills a child would use to learn the names of her toys, say scientists

"This is very serious science," says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University. "We're not talking about stupid pet tricks. Chaser is learning tons, literally, thousands of new things by using the same ability that kids use when they learn lots of words."

Researchers have begun to use MRIs and blood testing to learn more about dogs' feelings and intelligence. Hare says that when dogs look at their masters, scientists have detected oxytocin, which is also found in humans, that is known as "the love hormone," whose presence indicates warm or loving feelings. "What we know now is that when dogs are actually looking at you, they're essentially hugging you with their eyes," Hare tells Cooper.

We first reported on Anderson's trip to visit Chaser for the 60 Minutes segment last February.  You may view that post by clicking here.  We'll have his segment covered after it airs.

John Berman was in the AC360 anchor chair on Friday night.

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Anonymous said...

Because of my interest in animals and related issues, I will watch this piece.
I'm certain it will be interesting, but it is 60 Minutes 'Lite.' It is nothing that will change the course of history and it is not investigative journalism.
We all know that dogs have a vocabulary and if you work with them, it will become larger.
Cats also have a vocabulary and some are smarter than others...nothing new here.

sandyeggo said...

I may be seriously underreacting here but I fast forwarded through the entire 360 show waiting for mention of any news other than ebola. Nothing. Is it the producers or is it coming from higher up. Whatever or whoever it is they are going to destroy the show and scatter whatever regular audience there still exists.

Jaanza said...

I don't have any problems with this 't0 Minutes' report. I love goofy dogs and though this one may be smarter than my cat Inky, he still looks goofy.
Not all of Anderson's '60 Minutes' reports are going to be as serious as rape used as a weapon in the Congo war or talking to a young man who excaped a North Korean concentration camp or PlumpyNut.
I loo forward to watching the smart dog report.

So did anyone watch Friday's 360? How much of the show was on ebola?

Anonymous said...

60 Minutes is a news magazine program and as such they do a mixture of investigative journalism, serious stories and light/fluff stories. Nothing has really changed in the over 30 years that I've been watching the program. Sometimes their investigative journalism is very good and sometimes it has gotten them into trouble. Anderson is one of several 60 Minutes correspondents and has done a variety of reports for them. If you don't like the reports he does, don't watch and no one will really care.

2sandyeggo and Jaana - I fast forwarded through Friday's AC360 and it was all Ebola except for a very short taped promotion of Anderson talking to Bourdain about his new season starting this weekend.

There was an article in the NY Times about how Jeff Zucker is micromanaging CNN.

"One change that Mr. Zucker has made is emphasizing breaking news, focusing coverage on just two or three major stories throughout a given day, rather than delivering an all-encompassing, scattershot report of the headlines as was common in the past. The rationale is that viewers are likely to catch other news on the web or on social media. Mr. Zucker leads daily news meetings, unlike past CNN chiefs who delegated the responsibility. Employees called Mr. Zucker a micromanager and said that he sent missives from his BlackBerry at all hours about everything, be it the length of story segments or the graphics that appear on screen."

So I think we have an answer to one of Jaanza's survey questions. Zucker is making programming decisions, not Anderson or his staff. I'm guessing his staff may be responsible for guest bookings, but Zucker may be dictating that as well. Zucker was a failure at NBC and with the talk show Katie, so not sure why he was expected to turn CNN around. He was a known failure at the time of his hire.

To the person that has made comments on previous posts about blocking flights to the US from West Africa to avoid the spread of Ebola - if you watched AC360 you would know why that's not really an option as it's been discussed a couple of times this past week. (That's a FOX News talking point as pointed out by Steven Colbert.) There's the issue of connecting flights through other countries for one thing; and to say Ebola is racial is absurd. Have you seen Anderson's interview with Nancy Writebol?


Anonymous said...

@Jenn: "don't watch and no one would really care," except the CBS
ratings department.
There are more me's out there than you realize.
My point was....anyone could do that report, anyone.
60 Minutes does not depend on Anderson like CNN does. Period.

Anonymous said...

Watched most of 60 Minutes and thought the piece on Chaser was
well produced and edited.
Chaser really looked as though he understood his owner when he spoke to him in the car, and said
"We are almost there." His vocabulary was amazing and he did seem to have a sense of reasoning, which indicates a higher form of intelligence.
But because of Mr Pilley's advanced age, and Chasers, both will have a tough time without one another, they were that compatible.