Dogs don’t seem to care much about human faces, counterintuitive study finds

dog looks at face
Credit: Pexels

Dogs’ brains aren’t especially impressed by faces, either those of other dogs, or of people, a new study suggests.

People’s brains are exquisitely tuned into faces, and the wealth of information that expressions can convey. Whether other animals’ brains are as vigilant to faces is an open question.

Researchers in Hungary and Mexico used brain-scanning technology on 20 pet dogs to measure responses to faces. The dogs were trained to lie still in a sphynx position inside an MRI tube, resting their head on a chin rest while watching a screen. The scientists played four types of two-second video clips for the dogs to view: the front or back of a human head, and the front or back of a dog head. Thirty human volunteers in MRI machines saw the same short videos.

Related article:  How can 'water bears' survive in outer space? ‘Fluffy cloud’ of protein may shield tardigrade DNA
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

As many earlier studies have found, faces were captivating for people. When shown a face — either human or dog — a large swath of these people’s visual systems became active. These brain regions were quieter when the people saw the backs of heads.

The vision-processing parts of the dogs’ brains, however, didn’t seem to care about faces… No brain areas had greater activity when viewing a face compared with the back of a head. Instead, areas of the dogs’ visual systems were more tuned to whether the video featured a dog or a human.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend