(NEW YORK) — Yet another reason why dogs are man’s best friend: it might be possible that they can comprehend our emotions, according to a new study from Hungary.
Dogs might understand when we’re happy and when we’re sad, because they hear emotion in our voices — the way that humans do. To test that theory, the researchers first trained dogs to lie completely still in an MRI machine for up to eight minutes to analyze the portions of their brain capable of registering emotion and hearing sound. Then they conducted the first ever comparison between the brains of humans and dogs, while exposing them to over 200 of the same sounds, including crying, whining and laughter.
They found that the same areas of the brain active in humans were also active in dogs.
The study’s findings suggest that the evolutionary tree may be far more intricately linked than previously known.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Julie Wootton, Times-News
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News