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Friday, January 22, 2016

What's Your Dog Really Thinking?

You might think I look a bit "guilty" here, but the science says that we canines probably aren't capable of such complex emotions. (I beg to differ, but that's for another post!)

So what are dogs really capable of thinking and feeling? Of course, humans don't exactly know, but brain scans of a number of dogs at both Emory University and in Budapest, Hungary, shed some light on your dog's thinking processes. It turns out that "Dogs don't just seem to pick up on our subtle mood changes—they are actually physically wired to pick up on them."

Although it's been evident to both species for many thousands of years (about 30,000 to be exact), that humans and dogs communicate exceedingly well, modern neuroimaging helps explain the why behind that communication success. As we know, dogs navigate the world primarily through their noses, and imaging revealed that dogs prioritize the human scent above all others.

And behavioral research supports the neuroscience. For example, dogs run to their owners when frightened, just like toddlers, but cats and horses run away when scared. And according to this article from Science.Mic, "Dogs are the only non-primate animal to look people in the eyes."

Yes, we're incredibly bonded and (almost) speak the same language, but I do wonder why Parental Unit refuses to let me drive the car. I'm well over 16 in dog years... Anybody have any ideas?


Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

I have to call BS on that. I get that people anthropomorphize all the time and a lot of times dogs just react to their owners emotions. BUT many times I see my dogs hiding or acting off before I even know what they did; their "guilty actions" can't be a reflection of my own emotions because I didn't know of anything yet.

Bocci said...

Good and interesting observation, Amy/Layla. Parental Unit has seen the same thing—of the two or three times in eight years that I've pooped in the house...(due only to Parental Unit's negligence or incredibly sound sleeping), I hide before she's even woken up! What we're not sure about is whether that equates with human guilt...

What do the rest of you, think?

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