If you have a dog, you can most certainly remember the traits you love most about him, whether we are talking about sharp ears, gentle eyes or a wet nose.
But your dog can’t recognize you by his facial features, because despite the fact that they have developed facial expressions that persuade you to do whatever you want, researchers have found that, unlike humans, dogs do not have brain regions that respond specifically. girls.
“It’s amazing that she’s doing so well when it comes to reading the emotions that are identified on the faces, despite the fact that they don’t seem to have a brain designed to focus on them,” said Dr. Attila Andics, co-author of study at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.
The study noted differences in the functioning of the dogs’ brains
Andics and colleagues scanned the brains of 20 family dogs, including Labrador and Border Collie, along with the brains of 30 people.
Each participant, human or animal, was shown six sequences of 48 videos, which contained either the front or the back of a human or dog’s head.
The team found that certain regions of the dogs’ brains showed different activity depending on the species presented, with a greater response to videos containing images of dogs.
Interestingly, there was no difference in any region when the dogs were shown a human or dog face compared to the backs.
In contrast, the regions of the human brain showed a different activity depending on the image presented: the front or back of the head, in general, the faces generating a stronger response.
A small subset of these regions also showed a difference between species, generally showing a stronger response in humans.
Where do these differences come from?
Andics said the subsequent analysis showed that dogs’ brains were primarily focused on whether the animal was looking at a dog or a human, while the human brain was primarily focused on the fact that there was a face.
The results suggest that when it comes to communication, dogs do not rely heavily on faces, but that does not mean that they completely ignore this factor.
Rather, the dog’s brain was not designed to focus specifically on faces, which could be related to the fact that animals take many cues from body movements.
“The face detection system present in dogs simply says ‘it’s a dog or a man’ and doesn’t really care about faces,” said Prof Sophie Scott, director of the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.
Therefore, the study’s findings suggest that our canine friends rely less on faces than on other information to recognize us. One of the main ways in which dogs know who their friends are and how they should interact with a person is smell.