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猫は自分の名前の聞き分けができる 上智大の研究者らが発表

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experimental
実験に基づく(後出 experiment は実験)
distinguish
識別する、聞き取る
Sophia University
上智大学
attach meaning to ~
~に意味付けする
pet
(ここでは)なでること
vet
(= veterinarian)獣医
recite
列挙する
noun
名詞
make sense
道理にかなう
feline
if not ~
~とは言わないまでも
This 2018 file photo shows a cat sleeping in a park in Tokyo. (Mainichi)

Japanese researchers' study says cats react to sound of their name   

NEW YORK (AP) -- Japanese scientists said on April 4 that they've provided the first experimental evidence that cats can distinguish between words that people say.

Saito Atsuko of Sophia University in Tokyo says there's no evidence cats actually attach meaning to our words. Instead, they've learned that when they hear their names they often get rewards like food or pets, or something bad like a trip to the vet. And they hear their names a lot. So the sound of it becomes special, even if they don't really understand what it refers to.

In the experiments, each cat heard a recording of its owner's voice, or another person's voice, that slowly recited a list of four nouns or other cat's names, followed by the cat's own name.

Kristyn Vitale, who studies cat behavior and the cat-human bond at Oregon State University but didn't participate in the new work, said the results "make complete sense to me."

Vitale agreed that the results suggest the felines have been trained to recognize certain sounds, if not their meaning.

[本文‐175 words]

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリー4月20日号

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