Tag: Dog’s brain

Dogs and understanding praise.

Life must go on!

I am referring to the smoke and fires in this part of the Western edge of the USA.

For a while it seemed as though evacuation was becoming closer but now, I hope, that we are nearing a change in the weather including some rain later on this week.

So time for another post.

This one about speech processing in the dog’s brain.

The article that I want to republish is in The National Geographic magazine but I do not have permission to reproduce it in full.

Luckily the video that is in the article is also available on YouTube.

So first some extracts of the article.

Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here’s why that matters.

Dogs can’t speak, but their brains respond to spoken words, suggesting human language has deep evolutionary roots

By VIRGINIA MORELL, Published August 6th, 2020

Every dog owner knows that saying Good dog! in a happy, high-pitched voice will evoke a flurry of joyful tail wagging in their pet.

That made scientists curious: What exactly happens in your dog’s brain when it hears praise, and is it similar to the hierarchical way our own brain processes such acoustic information?

When a person gets a compliment, the more primitive, subcortical auditory regions first reacts to the intonation—the emotional force of spoken words. Next, the brain taps the more recently evolved auditory cortex to figure out the meaning of the words, which is learned.

Then later on the article goes on to say:

“It’s an important question, because dogs are a speechless species, yet they respond correctly to our words,” says Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary,and co-author of both the previous study and the new one, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. For instance, some dogs are capable of recognizing thousands of names of individual objects, and can link each name to a specific object.

When the scientists studied scans of the brains of pet dogs, they found that theirs, like ours, process the sounds of spoken words in a hierarchical manner—analyzing first the emotional component with the older region of the brain, the subcortical regions, and then the words’ meaning with the newer part, the cortex. (Read how dogs are more like us than we thought.)

It’s much longer than I have presented so I do urge you to go to the article and read it fully; it’s fascinating.

And to close this post I insert the video that is in the article.

All the best to you!