Do Dogs Love Us?

Do Dogs Love Us?

Dogs love us too. This isn't especially newsworthy to dog owners. But the story has made the news.

Scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, reaffirmed that a part of the brain associated with positive emotions, is similar in dogs and humans.

Using hand signals to indicate the dogs were about to receive a food treat, scientists showed with MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) which dogs voluntarily were trained to. The result is that the caudate nucleus, a part of the brain associated with positive emotions, is similar in dogs to that in humans.

In the next part of their research, they will analyse brain scans from dogs offered treats by strangers and machines.

‘If, as many scientists have argued in the past, it is all simply about [getting] food for dogs then the reaction in their brains would be the same no matter who or what is offering them the food,’ said neuroscientist and researcher Gregory Berns, 

His initial findings were published in a book called "How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain". Berns adds that it's possible that dogs experience a level of sentience (the ability to experience emotional sensations, to simultaneously think and feel, conscious of sense impressions) comparable to human children, suggesting that people should reconsider how they think of their pets.

He uses his findings to argue that dogs do indeed empathize with human emotions and experience friendships in a similar way to humans, All of this is making the news, but the truth is scientists have known about canine neurochemistry in the brain for several years....and dog owners have known all this for several thousand  years.


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  • I'd settle for loyalty...and companionship.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Well, now it's loyalty, companionship and love -

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    Dogs feel emotion! Let's make it illegal to chain a dog!

  • As someone who began my career in science, I'm glad to see scientists catching up to what animal communicators already know. Animals have sentience and experience the emotions we do, and they also connect to us in ways we tend to overlook. While humans concentrate on what separates us from other species, they live in consciousness of their connection.

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