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Dog emotion study shows what dog owners have always known

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A new dog emotion study suggests that dogs and humans process voices in the same way inside their brains. The study also suggests that this may explain why people say that their dogs seem to respond to human emotions, as it looks like they do pick up on the emotions in people’s voices, according to Fox News on Feb. 22.

This study entailed teaching 11 dogs to sit still in an MRI, (Magnetic resonance Imaging) scanner, which for sure couldn’t have been an easy feat! Both dogs and humans were submitted to the same tests. They were both subjected to 300 different human and dog sounds, according to MSN News.

It was a team of researchers in Budapest, Hungary that trained 11 Golden Retrievers and Border Collies to stay completely still in the MRI scanner. The dogs were able to lay motionless for eight minutes at a time to undergo fMRI scans.

The researchers from the MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group, who did this study, remarked on how much the dogs "loved" the MRI. They couldn't wait their turn, they were so excited to get into the tube-like machine. So needless to say, no animals were harmed during this study, they actually had a ball, as seen in the pictures above.

Humans and dogs responded most strongly to the sound of their own species, but the way they processed the emotionally-loaded sounds was very much in the same way. When hearing happy sounds, both showed a greater activation in the brain’s primary auditory cortex.

Differences were also present as dogs responded more to sounds other than voices, compared to humans.

Researchers are hoping to gain a better understanding as to how the dogs tune into the emotions of their owners. While this is some exciting news, most true dog lovers knew that their four-legged friend was tuned into how they were feeling from the day they met!

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