Everybody has wondered it at some time or another.
Every single one of us has watched a puppy chasing his tail or an old dog curled up on the front porch and wondered: what are they thinking?
Well, the answers might just be within reach.
Scientists at Emory University are putting MRI machines to a whole new test, using them to observe the brainwaves of completely coherent/awake dogs, something that has never been done previously. By training the animals to enter the machine willingly and feel comfortable with it’s excessive noise, researchers are now able to study canine brainwave images unlike ever before.
To start with, the team of experts had to figure out a really easy choice for their dog, just to be certain that they were reading the pooch’s brain scans correctly.
“In the first experiments with dogs in an MRI machine,” according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, “the researchers compared the response in the dog’s brain when it was shown a hand signal that meant it would get a hot dog (left hand up), and the response to a signal that meant it would not get a hot dog (both hands pointing toward each other horizontally).”
That ended up working for them, and so now, as the LA Times reports, they are able to try out new things like, “…whether dogs have empathy for owners… whether dogs process human language as arbitrary sound or if they have neural structures that respond to the deeper manner of language…(and) if dogs recognize their owners by sight or by smell.”
Here’s the intriguing official project video courtesy of Emory University:
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