TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Study shows why dogs respond to voices

Daily Photo Galleries

By Science
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
 

When you hear a friend's voice, you immediately picture her, even if you can't see her. And from the tone of her speech, you quickly gauge if she's happy or sad. You can do all of this because your human brain has a “voice area.” Now, scientists using MRIs and a crew of canines have discovered that dog brains, too, have dedicated voice areas. The finding helps explain how canines can be attuned to human feelings.

“It's absolutely brilliant, groundbreaking research,” said Pascal Belin, a neuroscientist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, who was part of the team that identified the voice areas in the human brain in 2000. “They've made the first comparative study using nonhuman primates of the cerebral processing of voices, and they've done it with a noninvasive technique by training dogs to lie in a scanner.”

The researchers from Hungary found that emotionally charged sounds, such as crying or laughter, prompted similar responses, perhaps explaining why dogs are attuned to human emotions.

The work is published in the journal Current Biology.

Attila Andics of the Hungarian Academy of Science said: “We think dogs and humans have a very similar mechanism to process emotional information.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objection law
  2. Benghazi panel formally requests private interview with Hillary
  3. Obama vetoes union election bill; streamlined election process to move forward
  4. Experts skeptical of N.D.’s new oil train safety checks
  5. Appalachian miners wiped out by coal glut they can’t reverse
  6. Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
  7. Indiana officials try to quell backlash over religious freedom law
  8. Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in D.C.
  9. U.S. parks cope with aging visitor base
  10. Gun used by agent who helped jail Capone headed to museum
  11. Mining for tourists? A dubious economic savior in Appalachia