Your dog can tell from your voice if you’re happy or sad. Your dog may know how you feel better than a psychologist. So says a bunch of neuroscientists. New fMRI research shows that dogs’ brains are specially equipped to process human voices and respond differently based on our emotions.
We can't read a dogs mind but we can read their brain scan. A team of researchers in Hungary has been using brain scans to track blood flow to various areas of the brain - a sign of increased activity to peer inside the minds of dogs.
One lab says they are using positive reinforcement training to get a study group of 11 dogs to voluntarily enter the fMRI scanner and stay perfectly still for minutes at a time, which is necessary to get accurate readings.
Recently, they've experimented with playing different sounds to the dogs while they lie in the scanner. The scans show that dogs appear to respond differently to voices (whether human speech or dogs barking) than other meaningless noises (such as glass breaking). The dogs also show more activity upon hearing an emotionally positive sound, as compared to a negative one.
If you live with a dog companion, none of this is a surprise. Dogs have been our friends, confidants and companions for 32,000 years.
Source: Smithsonian. Com