As it turns out, your dog has been the ‘one’ playing with you all along. The so called dog, magic trick wherein you keep four snack in your hand but end up giving only one to probably check his /her diet much to the bafflement of the poor pooch? A new study finds that you fur-legged baby knows about the game all along but might as well just be playing along with you, which means our fur babies are way smarter than the usual good-boi pats.
For the study, dogs were trained to lie still in an MRI scanner before having their responses to different numbers of dots flashing on the screen measured. The researchers found the dogs’ parietotemporal cortex responded to differences in the number of dots.
This hence means that if your pooch saw you with four bone snacks but you end up giving them only three, they will know that there is still three more left, which hence makes sense that your dog waits for more food every-time you pretend that it’s over.
The study used 11 dogs of varying breeds – including border collies, pitbull mixes, and Labrador golden retriever mixes – that had not received any advanced training in numerosity. Eight of them showed greater activation in the parietotemporal cortex when the ratio between alternating dot arrays was more dissimilar than when the numerical values were constant.
Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, who conducted the study with his colleagues told Psychology Today about his book, ‘What It’s Like To Be A Dog’,
‘’The overarching theme is that we see startling similarities in how animals’ brains function. This means that all animals — whether dog or human — have many neural processes in common.
So when we see the same part of a dog’s brain active as a human’s under similar conditions, the implication is that the dog is experiencing something very similar to us. Also, just like humans, we see tremendous variation in these responses from one dog to another. This means that dogs, like humans, are individuals’’.