Everyone knows that saying "good boy!" in a cheerful voice will make any dog wag his tail wildly in excitement, but most dog-owners also have learned that they know certain words no matter the tone (hence why so many have to spell W-A-L-K). And now, science has confirmed what dog lovers already suspected: dogs' brains process speech a lot like humans'.
A study published in Science by researchers in Hungary trained dogs to (voluntarily) lie down in an MRI scanner so their brains could be analysed when researchers spoke to them. It turns out that, like humans, the right side of a dog's brain deals with emotion, while the left processes meaning; when both sides of the brain agreed while hearing praise was the only time they truly exhibited that tail-wagging happiness all dog-owners love.
"The human brain not only separately analyses what we say and how we say it, but also integrates the two types of information, to arrive at a unified meaning," Dr Attila Andics, lead researcher of the study, said in a statement. "Our findings suggest that dogs can also do all that, and they use very similar brain mechanisms."
It's important to note that only 13 dogs were used in the study, but there can never be too many reasons to refrain from being a total dick to dogs.
From: Esquire US