Voice cues prompt similar brain response in dogs, people - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Voice cues prompt similar brain response in dogs, people

Updated: Feb 20, 2014 02:49 PM
© Kane Skennar / Digital Vision / Thinkstock © Kane Skennar / Digital Vision / Thinkstock

A new study sheds light on why Fido understands when you firmly tell him to sit or give him other commands.

Researchers discovered that, just like people, dogs' brains have a dedicated voice area and an area that's sensitive to emotional cues in voices.

The findings suggest that the voice areas in both humans and dogs evolved at least 100 million years ago in the last common ancestor of the two species, said the authors of the study, which was published Feb. 20 in the journal Current Biology.

The results also help explain why people and dogs have been such close partners for tens of thousands of years.

"Dogs and humans share a similar social environment," study author Attila Andics, of the MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Hungary, said in a journal news release. "Our findings suggest that they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information. This may support the success of vocal communication between the two species."

The researchers used functional MRI to monitor brain activity in people and 11 dogs as they heard nearly 200 sounds made by humans and dogs, such as laughter, playful barking, whining and crying.

The scans revealed that people and dogs have voice areas in similar locations of their brains. In addition, an area near the primary auditory cortex in the brains of both species showed more activation in response to happy sounds than unhappy ones.

The findings advance efforts to learn how dogs can be so tuned in to their owners' feelings, the researchers said.

"At last we begin to understand how our best friend is looking at us and navigating in our social environment," Andics said.

More information

The Public Broadcasting Service explains the evolution of dogs.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:33:53 GMT
    The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.More >>
    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...More >>
  • Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:42:54 GMT
    Israel bombed five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the late Hamas military chief across the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a Gaza police official said, as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state...More >>
    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot...More >>
  • Ohio fair's butter cows named Scarlet and Grayce

    Ohio fair's butter cows named Scarlet and Grayce

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:51:37 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Scarlet and Grayce. Those are the names of the traditional butter sculptures of a cow and calf at this year's Ohio State Fair. The names announced Tuesday by fair officials after a naming contest on Twitter are a play on the Ohio State University colors, scarlet and gray. Also presented Tuesday were other Ohio icons carved from butter, including a whitetail deer, paw paw fruit, carnation and spotted salamander. Two sculptors worked on this year's creations, crafting the...More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Scarlet and Grayce. Those are the names of the traditional butter sculptures of a cow and calf at this year's Ohio State Fair. The names announced Tuesday by fair officials after a naming contest on Twitter are a play on the Ohio State University colors, scarlet and gray. Also presented Tuesday were other Ohio icons carved from butter, including a whitetail deer, paw paw fruit, carnation and spotted salamander. Two sculptors worked on this year's creations, crafting the...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms