Dogs understand voice tone

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Lets talk dogs. If you’ve ever had a dog, you know they can understand you. While they do understand some words, they’re totally in touch with the tone of your voice.

A new study in the journal Current Biology reveals our best buddy’s brain is very similar to ours when it comes to processing emotions. Researchers in Budapest, Hungary used an MRI to analyze the brains of 11 golden retrievers and border collies along with 22 people while they listened to 200 human and canine sounds. The MRI results showed dogs, like humans, have a section of brain dedicated to deciphering emotions. Neurons in a dogs’ brain light up when they hear other dogs barking, growling or whining; but there’s also a region that’s lights up to emotional tones in humans like crying.

Interestingly, the human brain responded the same way to canine emotions. While we often talk about our dogs like they’re human when reacting to emotions – we’re two peas in a pod.