Have you ever wondered if your pooch understands the words ‘I love you’ it hears from you about a thousand times a day? Well researchers at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary have some exciting news for doggie lovers!


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Scientists at the Family Dog Project in Budapest used fMRI to scan 13 family dogs’ brain activity when hearing words. The interesting thing is that pups had to lie there completely motionless, sometimes for up to 8 minutes for an experiment to work. How did they get them to do it? Researchers told The Huffington Post that the most important thing was for the dogs to trust them and be praised.

Turns out that not only can pooches understand the meaning and tone of human speech – they process language the same way humans do! Doggies use right brain hemisphere to process words, and the left one to analyze intonation. Researchers came up with this finding when saying neutral phrases in a praising tone, and vice versa. The dog brain activity showed they could tell a difference between the meaning of distinct words and the sound.

We know some of you are shouting ‘I knew it!’ right now. Never again should anyone be ridiculed for talking with their dog. And if someone does laugh at you, just tell them they need to get up to date with the science.

More info: Facebook | Family Dog Project (h/t: huffingtonpost)

Scientists used fMRI to scan 13 family dogs’ brain activity when hearing words

Image credits: Vilja and Vanda Molnár

Pups had to lie there completely motionless, sometimes for up to 8 minutes for an experiment to work

Image credits: Borbála Ferenczy

Thanks to smart dogs like Barack (pictured) now we know more about the science of dogs

Image credits: Eniko Kubinyi

‘Both what we say and how we say it matters to dogs’

Image credits: Vilja and Vanda Molnár

Scans Showed Dogs Can Analyze Both Words And Intonation

Image credits: Eniko Kubinyi

‘Using words may be a human invention but now we see that the neural connections used to process them are not uniquely human’