Why Your Dog Understands You
Dogs and humans react to sound remarkably similarly, according to research done by scientists.
Sometimes science is slow. You’ve always known that fluffy can understand when you’re angry or sad, but a recent study has proven why this is.
Scientists trained 11 pooches, six golden retrievers and five border collies, to lie still (sit boy, staay) in a MRI scanner. This allowed them to run neuroimaging tests on humans and the 11 dogs.
The research team played 200 different human and dog sounds to both the humans and dogs. The sound covered a wide spectrum of emotion from crying to laughing or playful barking, while the subjects’ brains were being scanned.
The scans revealed that both the humans and the dogs’ brains lit up in a very similar area (the primary auditory cortex). Indicating that both species react to emotion similarly. Just like human brains, dog’s brains reacted to subtle changes in ton of the sound being played.
There was one interesting difference. The dogs were a lot more perceptive than the humans to sounds that were not made by a voice. Perhaps this is the reason why our furry best friends get so animated at the sound of thunder, or the rubbish truck.
Scientists believe that both dogs and humans share a common ancestor that lived around 100 million years ago. This may explain the similarities in brain activity.