Can animals like dogs understand our words

LexiTV | 03/15/2017 | 3:00 p.m. Study confirms: your dog understands you - really

We are seen through

The hardest part for the researchers from the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest was convincing the dogs to sit or lie down in the magnetic resonance tomograph. Because this thing is 100 percent tech and pretty loud. With a lot of persuasion and pats, the scientists made it and were rewarded with new findings. Because the MRI images showed: Dogs process the words in the left hemisphere and the tone of voice in the right. It only makes sense when they bring the two together. It is the same with us humans. In other words: a whispered "stupid dog" does not come across as praise for four-legged friends.

This is what the researchers did

While the dogs were in the MRI, the dog trainer spoke to them. The animals heard

words of praise with praising intonation,

words of praise with neutral intonation,

neutral words with praising intonation,

according to behavioral scientist Anna Gábor. Then the researchers checked how the hemispheres of the brain process what was said. Example: Neutral (meaningless) words in a laudatory tone. The dogs apparently realized that the talk doesn't make sense. The left hemisphere remained largely inactive.

Reward center is activated

It is not new that dogs understand words. So far, however, the connection between language and tone of voice has not been directly proven. British researchers at the University of Sussex carried out a similar experiment in 2014 - but without an MRI. They drew their conclusions from the direction in which the dogs turned their heads. They came to very similar results. The Hungarian researchers have now confirmed this in the study published in the journal “Science”. Now we know. The reward center is only activated in dogs when the words and tone of voice are praiseworthy.