Their Masters’ Voices: Dogs Understand Tone And Meaning Of Words

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What did she say?

Enikő Kubinyi/Science

When you praise a dog, it’s listening not just to the words you say but also how you say them.

That might not be huge news to dog owners. But now scientists have explored this phenomenon by using an imaging machine to peek inside the brains of 13 dogs as they listened to their trainer’s voice.

The reward pathway in the dogs’ brains lit up when they heard both praising words and an approving intonation — but not when they heard random words spoken in a praising tone or praise words spoken in a flat tone, according to a report in the journal Science.

“Dogs process both what we say and how we say it in a way which is amazingly similar to how human brains do,” says Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary.

TO BE CONTINUED ON

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/30/491935800/their-masters-voices-dogs-understand-tone-and-meaning-of-words

 

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