Dogs love being in the company of their owners, but a new study proves they may not get excited about their owner’s face. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, MRIs were used to scan humans and dogs as they watched videos of both dogs and humans. The Hungarian scientists say that humans have a region in the brain that “lights up” when another human face comes into their view. Dogs, however, do not.
Going one step further, when a member of the same species enters the room, both dogs and humans have a brain region that ignites. So when humans see humans, that brain region lights up. When dogs see other dogs, the same holds true. One of the study’s co-authors, Attila Andics, an animal behavior researcher at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, said dogs can notice human faces and expressions but they use other body cues to determine what we are up to.
“They read emotions from faces and they can recognize people from the face alone, but other bodily signals seem to be similarly informative to them,” Andics stated.
One of the biggest challenges in the study was getting the dogs to remain still in an MRI machine.
“They go through a several months-long training,” Andics reported.” The dogs are taught that “they cannot move during measurements, even a little.” In a report filed by NBC News, Dr. Katherine Houpt, a professor emeritus at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, isn’t surprised by the findings of the study.
“Your dog loves all of you, not just your pretty face,” she mused.
H/T: NBC News