MRI scans show dogs have emotions similar to humans - New York News

MRI scans show dogs have emotions similar to humans

Posted: Updated:
  • Must Read HeadlinesMore>>

  • Chandler company creates 3D printed automobiles

    Chandler company creates 3D printed automobiles

    The auto industry may soon be shifting gears. Imagine walking into a dealership, finding your dream car, and having it printed out.One Chandler company is hoping to do just that.
    The auto industry may soon be shifting gears. Imagine walking into a dealership, finding your dream car, and having it printed out.One Chandler company is hoping to do just that.
  • Stickers and books are okay; cupcakes are out for birthdays at school

    Stickers and books are okay; cupcakes are out for birthdays at school

    Many of you can remember as a kid the excitement of taking cupcakes or other treats to school for your birthday, but times are changing and it looks like the end of a tradition for one school district.
    Many of you can remember as a kid the excitement of taking cupcakes or other treats to school for your birthday, but times are changing and it looks like the end of a tradition for one school district.
  • Soccer fans wear rival player's mug shot on T-shirt

    Soccer fans wear rival player's mug shot on T-shirt

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:39 AM EDT2014-09-12 14:39:44 GMT
    Relatives of an Indiana high school student whose mug shot appeared on T-shirts at a soccer game between rival schools reportedly claim spirited fans went a bit too far.
    Relatives of an Indiana high school student whose mug shot appeared on T-shirts at a soccer game between rival schools reportedly claim spirited fans went a bit too far.

Man's best friend may have more in common with his or her human owners than previously thought.

For the past two years, neuroscientist Gregory Berns of Emory University has been conducting a series of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on canines – including his pet terrier Callie – and he says his findings show that dogs have the same capacity to experience emotions, such as love and attachment, as humans.

In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, Berns argued that this emotional aptitude must mean that "dogs are people, too," and they should be afforded many of the same rights as people.

Because dogs cannot speak, Berns said that scientists have relied on behavioral observations to better understand what dogs are thinking. This can be tricky, since researchers cannot truly comprehend why a dog performs a certain action or how the dog feels about it.

"By looking directly at their brains and bypassing the constraints of behaviorism, MRIs can tell us about dogs' internal states," Berns argued in The New York Times.

Along with his friend Mark Spivak, a dog trainer, Berns trained his dog Callie and other canine volunteers to enter the MRI scanner in order to measure the dogs' brain responses to two hand signals. Through these tests, Berns noted a striking similarity between dogs and humans in a region of the brain called the caudate nucleus – an area associated with anticipation of things people enjoy.

"… Many of the same things that activate the human caudate, which are associated with positive emotions, also activate the dog caudate," Berns wrote in The New York Times. "Neuroscientists call this a functional homology, and it may be an indication of canine emotions."

Because of this finding, Berns said it's possible that dogs experience a level of sentience comparable to human children, suggesting that people should reconsider how they think of their pets.

"Perhaps someday we may see a case arguing for a dog's rights based on brain-imaging findings," Berns wrote in The New York Times.

More from Fox News

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:42:47 GMT
    Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
  • Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:50:36 GMT
    Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
  • Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:43:09 GMT
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices