We love our dogs, and the fact that I can tell you “I love my dog” is easy because we can understand each other through language. Dogs show their feeling differently and it’s easy to tell that your dog loves you too. But do they really? Are they just being kind to the hand that feeds them, or do they see you as part of their family?
Well, a published article by Mic (in partnership with GE) is opening doors to revealing how our fury friends brains work. We welcome more of this kind of research, giving us a better understanding of how dogs brains work can help us communicate better with these fascinating creatures.
Dogs navigate through the world via their noses, so that is where Scientists at the Emory University started. They trained dogs to lay perfectly still for MRI scans and introduced scents to dogs to watch how their brains reacted to familiar and unfamiliar scents. The scans revealed that the reward centre in the dogs brain would light up on familiar scents. More interestingly “Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else”.
The piece also conducted studies about how dogs react to emotional vocal sounds “Among other surprising findings, the study revealed marked similarities in the way dog and human brains process emotionally laden vocal sounds. Researchers found that happy sounds in particular light up the auditory cortex in both species. This commonality speaks to the uniquely strong communication system underlying the dog-human bond.”
It’s amazing that science can start to unlock the secrets of a dogs mind, which to me, brings me closer to understanding how dogs think and feel and can help deepen my bond with the most loyal friend a person can have.
Read the original piece here: http://mic.com/articles/104474/brain-scans-reveal-what-dogs-really-think-of-us
Image Credit: Borbala Ferenczy