If you're someone who talks a load of nonsense to your dog thinking he won't understand you, maybe you should think about raising the toneof your conversation.A recent study published on August 29 in the highly respected American reviewScienceshows that man's best friend can actually distinguish not only between different intonations of speech,but also between the words you use.
Source : Bernadett Szabo / REUTERS
Researchers at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest studied 13 dogs of different breeds to come to these conclusions. The MRI scans showed that dogs used the same parts of their brain as us, using the left side to interpret words and the right to analyse intonation.
Source : Eniko Kubiniy
Use the right words and the right intonation
If you really want to speak kindly to your four-footed friend, make sure you're using the right words along withthe right intonation. This is the only certain way to activatethe "reward centre" of their brain.Don't even bother telling him off if you're using a cheerful tone: that's not going to fool him! Scientists have tried every possible combination, whether that be gentle words in a gentletone, harsh words in a gentletone or congratulations in an aggressive or neutral tone.
Attila Andics, one of the ethologists behind the study, explains:
It turned out that when we praise a dog it activates the reward centre of their brain but only if word meaning and intonation are praising. So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.
The dog brain isn't that different from the human brain
Researchers were also able to show that canine and human brains function in a very similar way.If the dog grows up in an environment surrounded by conversation - in a human family for example -, his brain will take in this language in the same way as a child's, though he may not be able to use it himself.
This is new proof that language isn't as unique to humansas often thought.Attila Andics concludes:
The neural mechanism humans have for processing meaning in speech, so for processing word meaning and intonation, are not uniquely human - they seem to be there in other species. It is not the result of a special new neural mechanism but the result of an innovation. We invented words as we invented the wheel.
And if this is true for dogs, it's probably true for other animals who are much more closely related to us, for example primates.It'sonce again a reminder that dog isn't just man's best friend - in fact, he's just as much man's cousin!The scientists explain the procedure in the following video:[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=54&v=N9QQxa6eLPc[/embed]