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Study Aims To Read Dogs' Thoughts 154

jjp9999 writes "A new study at Emory University is trying to figure out what dogs think. The study uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to scan the dogs' brains while they're shown different stimuli. Results from the first study will be published by the Public Library of Science, where the dogs were shown hand signals from their owners. 'We hope this opens up a whole new door for understanding canine cognition and inter-species communication. We want to understand the dog-human relationship, from the dog's perspective,' said Gregory Berns, director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy and lead researcher of the dog project."
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Study Aims To Read Dogs' Thoughts

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  • Re:Hello? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Katakaa ( 2632969 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @01:13PM (#39908931)
    I think it would be more interesting to study cats. Last night I was swimming at my pool (drunk), and the cats around my apartment building seemed interestingly intelligent. They come up on the bench to watch my computer screen, wanted to be hugged and generally seemed to have advanced thought process.

    On top of this, geckos seem rather intelligent too. Their callsign "gecko" is not that easy to make, as it has tons of variations in the tune. If you have ever heard the noise a gecko makes you know what I'm talking about. On top of that the reasoning behind the sign is rather intelligent too - it messages to other geckos that "I'm here" and wants to meet with them.

    It's almost funny that geeks seek to find intelligent life outside earth when there is so many around us.
  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @01:13PM (#39908941)
    You know, the excellent God-Game by Lionhead Studios where you have to create & educate a "Creature" to fight for your people and interests. The creature in B&W 2, though artificial, is probably about as smart as your average dog. Oh well. Happy studying...
  • Re:Hello? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Paracelcus ( 151056 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @02:41PM (#39909575) Journal

    Anybody that thinks that there can be no bond between Humans and cats has not had a close friendship with one!

    In 1970 a few years after my dog Lady had died at age sixteen, a badly mauled little white tomcat was sitting in the hallway of the bldg in which I lived (it was open to the ally in the rear), I opened my door and said "you OK cat?" and with no warning he darted under my still opened sofa bed. Not wanting to lose any fingers by pulling him out I tried to coax him out with pieces of fried beef liver, he ate all the liver and a frankfurter (most of it from my hand) and finally got him to come out with a bowl of milk.

    I named him Casey Cat, he was the toughest, most pugnacious, scarred up, feisty little runt I had ever seen! He was an American short haired all white alley cat, with one eye damaged, chewed up ears and a missing canine tooth. He weighed in at about six pounds.

    Casey came and went as he pleased through an open window, He'd wake me by purring on my chest and when my eyes opened he'd grunt in my face with cat food breath (he could not meow). He was a very memorable friend!

  • Try asking. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @08:00PM (#39911323)

    Try asking the dog. I have a large pack of working livestock dogs on our farm. We use sign language with them. They use some of the signs back to us. There are some limitations, they can't finger spell or do certain moves, but we have have developed a dog-gin mix of sign and vocal language. I also understand some of their own language. All told we have about 300 words that we use back and forth. This is enough language to talk about a lot of things.

    If you want to know what they're thinking, ask.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.