University of Cambridge scientists have been training sheep to recognize the faces of celebrities including former US President Barack Obama hoping it may help with understanding neurodegenerative diseases.

In a specially equipped pen, sheep were shown pictures of people on two computer screens, on one side would be an unknown person and on the other would be one of four celebrities.

The sheep would receive a reward of food for choosing the correct photograph of the celebrity and if they chose the wrong photograph, a buzzer would sound and they would receive no reward.

Eventually, the sheep managed to identify the familiar face eight times out of 10.

In a statement of Professor Jenny Morton, who led the study, she said that the sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities comparable with those of humans and monkeys.

The sheep were trained to recognize a group of celebrities which include actors Emma Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Obama and others.

Meanwhile, scientists also tested the animals’ ability to recognize the faces in photographs taken from other angles.

This study aims to use the sheep as models to understand disorders of the brain, such as Huntington’s disease and others.


Reported by: Hennah Bagalan and Regine Burce



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