Human and dog brains more alike than previously thought

Hungarian scientists recently performed a new type of study; the first in its kind to compare brain function between humans and a non primate animal. The results might not come as a big surprise to dog lovers, but the findings can shake up the world of science.

Attila Andics of MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group says, “Dogs and humans share a similar social environment. Our findings suggest they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information.”

In the test, Andics and his colleagues trained eleven dogs to stay motionless in an MRI brain scanner. This made it possible to run the same neuroimaging experiment on the dogs as on the humans participating. The test subjects listened to almost 200 dog and human sounds, ranging from crying to laughing, and the experiment showed striking similarities in the ways dog and human brains process emotionally loaded sounds.

The parallel brain sensitivity to voices and emotions might help explain the unique bond between humans and dogs.

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