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:  CRISPR can transform bad fat into good fat, helping us stay lean and fighting diabetes
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
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend