Brain Scans Show What Dogs Are Actually Thinking About

It's human nature (and human folly) to pretend we know what our dogs are actually thinking about. Oh, he's happy! Oh, he's tired! Oh, he loves this! That's not exactly a scientific way to look at things. Brain scans, however, are super scientific. So scanning the brains of dogs means its possible to know what dogs are really thinking.

Gregory Berns at Emory University in Atlanta, who was inspired by war dogs and their abilities, wanted to take a closer look at the thinking of dogs and took the first brain scans of dogs that were "fully awake" and "unrestrained". In one of his tests, he noted how dogs respond to human signals:

In the first experiment, the dogs were trained to respond to hand signals. One signal meant the dog would receive a hot dog treat, and another signal meant it would not receive one. The caudate region of the brain, associated with rewards in humans, showed activation in both dogs when they saw the signal for the treat, but not for the no-treat signal.

Maybe we'll actually get to know our best friends now. Read the whole report here. [Emory University via Business Insider]


Comments

    You don't need a machine to tell that when you get home from work, your dog is thinking "ohyou'rebackyou'rebackiloveyouiloveyouiloveyoulet'splay!"
    Still, better knowledge and tools to communicate and train our canine companions should lead to better guide, guard and detection dogs.

    Or even just being able to explain to him why he shouldn't cock his leg inside or bark at the nieghbours kids, even if they are being little creeps.

      but that would require that the dog understands US instead of the other way 'round.
      In this, we are understanding THEM.
      It's still one way comms at best. .... For now ...

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