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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It’s Okay To Be Smart on explains how dogs interpret human language

Joe Hanson of It’s Okay To Be Smart explains how dogs interpret human language. 

Do you ever talk to your dog? Do they ever talk back? Humans and dogs have a truly amazing relationship, developed along an evolutionary journey that goes back nearly 10,000 years. Do they really understand what we say, think, and feel? Recent research suggests dogs know more about our language and emotions than you might think.
It’s hard to know if they’re responding to the words, or just the emotion in my voice. Or the fact that I sound ridiculous. One recent study suggests it’s both. Or all three. Researchers at the University of Sussex played sounds out of speakers on both sides of a dog. When dogs heard commands stripped of their emotional context, they turned their head to the right, suggesting they process verbal meaning in their left hemisphere. And when they heard the emotional sounds in the voice, but the words were jumbled, they turned to the left, suggesting they process emotional sounds on the right. These experiments show that dogs can definitely separate the meaning of words from the emotion.

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