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Dogs' Brains Have Human-like "Voice Area" 139

sciencehabit writes "When you hear a friend's voice, you immediately picture her, even if you can't see her. And from the tone of her speech, you quickly gauge if she's happy or sad. You can do all of this because your human brain has a 'voice area.' Now, scientists using brain scanners and a crew of eager dogs have discovered that dog brains, too, have dedicated voice areas. The finding helps explain how canines can be so attuned to their owners' feelings."
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Dogs' Brains Have Human-like "Voice Area"

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  • It goes both way (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:34PM (#46300967)

    If you've been around dogs much you can get a pretty good idea of their emotional state by their vocalizations. Not just the obvious growl or excited yipping, even straight barks have an inflection that tells you a lot.

    It shouldn't surprise anyone that an animal which can vocalize emotion has a brain that can pick it up as well

  • Re:Dogs are best (Score:5, Informative)

    by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:38PM (#46300985)

    This study was the first to actually look for a "voice center" in a non-primate. It seems more likely a great many animals have one, much as it may disappoint exceptionalists.

  • Re:Dog smarts (Score:4, Informative)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:16AM (#46302283) Journal
    I once had a litter of pups running around my back yard. Getting out of the back door was difficult because they would all rush inside when I opened it. One day I opened the door to go outside and sure enough a small herd of 6wk old pups came running up the stairs yapping excitedly. However on this occasion they stopped half way up the stairs and ran back down and around the side of the house. They went back and forth from me to the side of the house several times making a real racket and tripping over each other. When I finally put my head around the corner I found a pup with its head stuck in a plastic watering can. It was abundantly clear to me that the pups knew their sibling was in trouble, knew I could help, and knew how to communicate this to me.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp