Dog owners, already know that this is true. Your dog truly and unconditionally loves you and sees you as their family.
Gregory Burns, an Emory University neuroscientist, using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine has scanned the brains of dogs with the aim of finding out what goes behind those gorgeous eyes and what drives them.
Berns oversaw the experiment after the death of his own dog – Newton. The test was carried out on 90 dogs after they’d been acclimated to the sounds of an MRI. They were never restrained or drugged. (Yes, the same question crept up in our heads too!) They noticed that canine prefrontal lobe activity was similar to that in humans. In other words, they use the same parts of their brains for problem-solving as we do.
‘We did an experiment where we gave them hot dogs some of the time and praise some of the time. When we compared their responses and looked at the rewards center of their brains, the vast number of dogs responded to praise and food equally.
Another thing that we’ve learned by showing pictures of objects and people to the dogs is that they have dedicated parts of their brain for processing faces. So dogs are in many ways wired to process faces.’- Gregory Berns
The experiment also concluded that dogs aren’t just learning from being around us that human faces are important — they are born to look at faces.
This also sheds light on animal cruelty and the treatment of farm animals. This study to a certain degree proved that animals are aware of their suffering. Animals have brains with the capacity to feel many of the emotions we do.
Source: NY Times