Dogs Have The Incredible Ability To Read Human Emotions. Science Says So!

24/1/2016

According to a recent study by researchers at Lincoln University, UK, and the University ofSao Paulo in Brazil, our dogs can sense our emotions. The study's findings were published lastWednesday 13th Januaryin theRoyal Society'sjournalBiology Letters.

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Colleague Dr Kun Guo, a psychologistfrom Lincoln University, explained:

Our study shows that dogs have the ability to integrate two different sources of sensory information into a coherent perception of emotion in both humans and dogs... This cognitive ability has until now only been evidenced in primates and the capacity to do this across species only seen in humans.

In order to detect the emotions of another species, the dog's brain has to be able tocombine what it can see and hear to evaluate the mood of the dog or the human. And these scientists have found that dogs can indeed evaluate, compare, and combine these factorsto work out how ahuman is feeling.

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17 dogs

The scientists carried out the study with the help of 17 dogs. Theysat the pet dogs in front of a screen and showed them two images of another dog - one where helooked happy and playful and the otherin which he appeared angry. This was then accompanied by an excited bark oran angry bark.The dogs were clearly more receptive to the happy and excited dogs,focussing on their pictures and accompanying sounds for longer.The scientiststhen showed them pictures of happy and angry human faces and the same result occurred. The photos shown were of complete strangers and yet the dogs could still deciphertheir moods.

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Source : @TheRoyalSociety 

Theresearchers thus concluded that dogs can successfully link the two senses in order to interpret the mood of ahuman. Your dog does know when you're sad after all!The researchers said the ability is likely to be instinctive and has developed over thousands of years of domestication.We always thought dogs were in tune with our emotions, and now it's officially been proven! Nowwhat about cats?

Featured image: @EartPorm

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