Dogs experience positive emotions just like humans do
Dogs experience positive emotions in the same way that humans do, according to new research.
American professor Gregory Berns came to this conclusion after undertaking an experiment involving the use of MRI scans on dogs with no anaesthetic.
Dailymail.co.uk reports that this resulted in detection of activity in a part of the dogs’ brains called the caudate nucleus. The activity occurred when the dogs were offered food or experienced familiar smells and was found to be remarkably similar to that which occurs in the human brain.
Following the publication of his study, Berns suggested that the results could change the way that dogs are perceived by humans, suggesting they should be treated as well as humans are – rather than like objects.
Yet in a guest column for telegraph.co.uk, journalist and self-proclaimed dog enthusiast Christopher Middleton argued that the experiment didn’t prove anything that wasn’t already known.
He concluded: “The discovery by scientists that ‘dogs are people too’ comes not so much as a shock to us canine-lovers as confirmation of what we have known all along. All I am saying is that instead of observing this through screens and wires, an easier way to tell that the dog is pleased is by observing that he is wagging his tail.”