For the initial training, the sheep received a food reward for choosing the face versus a blank screen.
Scientists say the study could help advance research of Huntington's disease, which causes humans to lose their ability to recognize faces, Sky News reported. The sheep were having two options in each step as a photo of celebrity face or another is of something else.
If you ever find yourself in the company of sheep, don't be surprised if they seem to recognize you.
The sheep made the correct choice of celebrity or handler roughly 70 percent of the time on average.
It's always been known a flock can become familiar with the visages of their human handlers.
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The sheep still recognized the celebrity portraits, even if posing at an angle, with only a 15 percent drop in accuracy. "Sheep recognise Obama from photo".
Over a series of four training sessions, the sheep's ability to choose a familiar face, represented by one of the four celebrities, over a completely unfamiliar face improved. The photo recognition experiment gives scientists a way to track changes in the cognitive abilities of sheep with a gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease, an incurable neurodegenerative disease.
Humans and monkeys can now extend a warm welcome to sheep for joining us in being able to recognize human faces from photographs.
The new study which was published in Royal Society Open Science, concludes that sheep are smart enough to identify humans and nonhuman primates by face.
Recognizing human faces is a skill you may take for granted-but you're also a human.