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Nature & Environment

Brain scans reveal dogs' vocal responses

By T.K. Randall
February 22, 2014 · Comment icon 10 comments

Dogs are able to pick up on human vocal commands. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Rainer Spickmann
A new study has shown that a dog's brain reacts to voices in much the same way as the brain of a human.
Researchers conducted the study by analyzing the brains of several dogs using an MRI scanner. Despite the species gap, a dog appears to perceive voices or emotionally charged sounds such as laughter in much the same way as our own brains do, suggesting a reason why our canine companions seem to be so well attuned to human vocal commands.
"We know very well that dogs are very good at tuning into the feelings of their owners, and we know a good dog owner can detect emotional changes in his dog - but we now begin to understand why this can be," said lead author Attila Andics.

The study also revealed that dogs respond the strongest to hearing the sounds of other dogs but have a harder time distinguishing between vocal and environmental sounds than humans do.

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 10 years ago
woow... How long did it take for researchers to find out this world changing things... i wonder, that way its easier to calculate the level of their retardation
Comment icon #2 Posted by Lilly 10 years ago
Dogs *speak* human far better than humans *speak* dog. Many of us have known this for a very long time.
Comment icon #3 Posted by SkeptcByMindBelievrByHeart 10 years ago
"I do not like the cone of shame" "I was hiding under your porch, because I love you" "Be my prisoner oh please oh please be my prisoner"
Comment icon #4 Posted by redhen 10 years ago
"Lead author Attila Andics, from the Hungarian Academy of Science's Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, said: "We think dogs and humans have a very similar mechanism to process emotional information."" Ya think? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Expression_of_the_Emotions_in_Man_and_Animals
Comment icon #5 Posted by GreenmansGod 10 years ago
Cats understand us, too, but they just don't give a damn.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever 10 years ago
Makes you wonder what these geniuses expected to find.
Comment icon #7 Posted by highdesert50 10 years ago
MRI? Really? It's all in the tail.
Comment icon #8 Posted by regeneratia 10 years ago
I think my dog knows what I am thinking, what I am deciding before I indicate what it is that I am going to do. I can think about going outside and suddenly, there he is, ready to head out with me, even before I move.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Lilly 10 years ago
"I do not like the cone of shame" "I was hiding under your porch, because I love you" "Be my prisoner oh please oh please be my prisoner" Ya just gotta love "Up"!
Comment icon #10 Posted by MJNYC 10 years ago
It's so hysterical to see these studies. Do dogs understand, do dogs and cats love, do animals have souls yadda yadda yadda. It's absurd. Any pet guardian can tell you that animals have souls, that they love, that they respond and that they are sentient. As we all know and as someone else stated, they speak our language we don't speak theirs.


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