Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fido Does Understand What We Say, Duh!

Confirming what we already know, research indicates dogs like my
Jackson and Tonks know what we mean
by what words we use and how we say those words.  
Anyone who has a dog for a companion alreaady knew this, but dogs understand what we mean when we say certain words, and understand what we mean when we saw those words in a certain way.

You know how a dog reacts when you enthusiastically say "Good Boy!" The go all lovey-dovey on you when you do that, and they're very happy.

Still, for what it's worth, researchers in Hungary did some tests and figured out that dogs process words and the way they're said much like humans do.

They were able to train dogs to sit still while they did MRI's on them.

Both sides of their brains lit up, depending on what was said and how it was said.

According to the Associated Press:

"'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 onlh if both word meaning and intonation match.'"

In other words, if you just say "Good Boy," like you're reading a boring text, the dog won't really register it. And if you enthusiastically say some random word like "Interstate," that won't do much for the dog, either.

However, if you say "Good Boy!" like you're excited and happy with Fido, both the left and right side of the dog's brain will light up in the MRI. That means they're understanding what the word means, and also figuring out the implications of what ou say by how you're saying it.

This is just one study on a limited number of dogs, so results may vary.

But it's fun to get some possible proof of what we already know. And what my dogs Tonks and Jackson already know.

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