A recent Hungarian study proved that dog’s brains, similarly to humans’, have areas that are dedicated to recognizing emotional cues in voice. The study was conducted by Attila Andics of the MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Hungary.
Anidcs said that “Dogs and humans share a similar social environment,” “Our findings suggest that they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information.”
“This may support the successfulness of vocal communication between the two species,” he added.
The study was made possible by training 11 dogs to lay still throughout the process of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning. Comparisons were made between brain activity of dog and human participants while they listened to around 200 human and dog sounds. Analysing brain activity images resulted in finding that both humans and canines had voice areas in the same brain locations.
Andics stated that “At last we begin to understand how our best friend is looking at us and navigating in our social environment”.
A discovery like this might help further develop therapy fields such as animal assisted interventions, where human-animal bond is incorporated into the intervention while aiming to improve a patient’s physical and emotional health.
Photo Credit: Eniko Kubinyi