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(22,955 posts)
Tue May 14, 2024, 10:44 PM May 14

Your Dog Can Understand What You Say Better Than You Think [View all]

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Your Dog Can Understand What You Say Better Than You Think, New Study Shows

Our dogs understand us better than they've been given credit for — and scientists say they have the brain wave evidence to prove it.

By placing electrodes on the heads of 18 pet dogs, researchers found striking evidence that the animals did not merely recognize the patterns of sound that come out of their owners' mouths, they actually realized that certain words refer to specific objects.

"For decades there has been a debate about whether animals are capable of such a level of abstraction," said study leader Marianna Boros, a neuroscientist and ethologist at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. The experiments with dogs knock down the uniqueness of humans "a little bit."

A few exceptional dogs have been trained to learn the names of hundreds of objects. Among the most esteemed was Chaser, a border collie from South Carolina who could remember the names of more than 1,000 toys.

Boros wondered whether more dogs understood that words had meanings but just didn't have a way to show it. Even when dogs succeed in behavioral studies, she said, "you never know exactly what happens in the brain."

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