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Dogs shown to have dedicated voice areas in their brains

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Dogs have been shown to have a dedicated voice area in their brains that has the same location as the voice area in humans and responds to the emotional content of vocalizations much the same as humans do in research conducted by Attila Andics of MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Budapest, Hungary that was reported in the Feb. 20, 2014, edition of the journal Current Biology.

The researchers trained 200 dogs to remain still during a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan.

The scientists compared the reaction of dog brains to sounds, human vocalizations, and dog vocalizations and found that dogs have a specific region of their brain dedicated to voice just like humans.

Dogs were found to be more receptive to the voices and sounds of other dogs than they were to humans. Dogs responded to the emotional content of vocalizations like humans and displayed a very similar brain response to emotional content in the vocalizations of dogs and in humans.

Dogs were about twice as sensitive to sounds other than voices than humans are.

Researchers have shown that voice areas in mammal brains developed about 100 million years ago.

The almost exact response to emotion in vocalizations seen in both dogs and humans could account for the long relationship man and dogs have enjoyed for the last 15,000 years.

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