What REALLY Goes on Inside Your Dog’s Brain
Through the years, dogs have proved helpful to humans, and we can't help loving them in return. Today, almost half of all the American families have their own dogs.
From the way dogs respond to our presence, it is obvious that they have the ability to love their human. But since we cannot tell exactly what they have in mind, how can we be certain of what emotions they can feel?
Because of the recent improvements in cerebrum imaging innovation, we're beginning to see what's really happening inside the canine skull.
Yes, researchers are really examining the canine brains. What's more, the results of their research are very acceptable to dog owners. It does not only show that dogs adore us back, they actually view us as their family. In fact, they rely on humans for both affection and protection.
The most powerful proof that these creations are loyal to humans originates from a recent neuroimaging study about scent-processing in the canine cerebrum.
The Animal Cognition researchers at Emory University let a number of dogs lie in an MRI machine and used FMRI to study their neural reactions to the scent of humans and dogs. Because dogs, mainly use their sense of smell to move around, their neural reaction to scent has given the scientists an idea of how they behave socially.
Below is a video provided by the Emory University.
The researchers found that the dog’s owner’s scent triggers the "reward center" of their brains, called the caudate core. Of all the odors they can take in, dogs has the ability to prioritize humans smell over everything else.
This result agrees with another study executed in Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, which focused on how dogs react to different sounds emitted by humans and other animals.
This study reveals that dogs have the same neural reaction to humans when it comes to processing vocal sounds. For example, cheerful sounds trigger the auditory cortex on both humans’ and dogs’ brains. This explains the strong bond that a dog-owner and their pet has.
Surely, dog lovers believe that their pets truly understand their moods and emotions, but these studies help us truly understand how dogs react to us.
Another research on dog behavior also tells us that dogs respond to their owners the same way infants respond to their parents. Whenever dogs start to feel anxious or stressed out, they would normally run to their owner, just as toddlers seek protection from their parents. This marks a huge difference from cats, who would instantly run away when faced with a similar situation.
In addition to that, canines are the only non-primate animal that can look at humans without flinching. This is what we learned from a study conducted more than ten years ago, when researchers tried to tame wolves, which they thought would share the qualities of domestic dogs. During the research, scientists tried to raise wolves like puppies. Their research proved them wrong, though, because wolves cannot maintain eye contact with humans.
According to Andics, the scientist who conducted the research, dogs are more interested in building a closer bond with their owner, than bonding with other animals.