Dog owners often make inferences about what their four-legged companions are thinking or feeling. But how correct are such assumptions? A recent study by Emory University researchers aimed to answer this question and others about the minds of man’s best friend.
During the study, researchers spent eight months training two canines to sit motionless inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. They then analyzed the animals’ brain activity while using hand signals indicating the dogs would either receive or not receive a hot dog. Results showed the appropriate brain regions lit up in anticipation of a treat.
In the above Emory video, researchers discuss their findings and their motivation for embarking on the study.