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Good boy! Dogs know what you’re saying, study suggests

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photo by William Thomas

August 30, 2016

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: Man’s best friend really does understand some of what we’re saying.

Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using.

They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere and used the right hemisphere to process pitch — just like people.

What’s more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and pitch were positive. Meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn’t have the same effect.

“Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it,” said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, said in an email. “Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match.”

Andics said the findings suggest that the mental ability to process language evolved earlier than previously believed and that what sets humans apart from other species is the invention of words.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dogs-same-parts-brain-humans-process-language-084049575.html