Research proves that cats are instinctively attracted to the box, even if it is false

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Researchers have discovered that cats do sit in any box, even if it is an invisible box that does not exist. Why this is so is unclear, and more research is needed to explain cats’ preference for rectangular shapes, but researchers have shown that cats are easily fooled by box-like illusions.

The author of the paper used the Kanisza illusion, which is to arrange four “Pac-Man” shapes on the ground to make them appear a square outline, as shown in the following figure:

< img src=’https://static.cnbetacdn.com/article/2021/05/1412a166491acdd.gif’ />

They let more than 560 cat owners participate in the project through Twitter and provided them with Clear experimental instructions. For six days, volunteers used the shapes of these papers to create the illusion of a square. Cat owners are also advised to wear sunglasses to avoid affecting their cats.

In the experiment, the cat owner put these pieces of paper on the floor and let the cat enter. Then, the host checked which shape the cat would choose to sit for more than 3 seconds within 5 minutes of entering the room.

Smith told LiveScience: “According to known research, cats behave most naturally in a familiar environment such as at home. The civic science form of this research is a perfect match.”

< p>Among all the volunteers, only 30 completed the test. In the experiment, only 9 cats made at least one choice. The cats chose the phantom square (left) 7 times, almost as many times as they chose the real square (right) 8 times. This shows that cats are prone to this illusion. Smith said this discovery “tells us about the evolution of their eyesight, especially their sensitivity to contours and their comparison with humans and other animals.” It is not clear why one of the cats chose Different shapes.

For now, researchers still cannot explain the reasons behind this choice. It may be that the cat feels comfortable in the box or their intuition is at work. Although domestic cats hardly need to track anything, there is no doubt that the box is a good place to hide and track prey. Next, the scientists plan to investigate whether the 3D Kanizsa illusion can produce the same effect and whether the undomesticated big cats also have similar behaviors.