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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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  • Dogs are best (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:10PM (#46300809)

    I love all these studies that constantly come out showing that dogs are, well, loving, loyal, and built to hang around humans. Of COURSE they are. Dogs are domesticated, and like, are the best thing ever.

    I would like to see more studies about how flexible these relatively large changes are, and how fast they can occur. We all know about the Russion project to make "dogs out of foxes" by domesticating foxes by choosing them based on friendliness: []

    Do these little foxes have a section where they are mirroring the dogs? In other words, is this morphological change something that happens when an animal is domesticated into a pet, or are dogs just special because awwwww doggie?

  • Cat got your brain? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:17PM (#46300853) Journal
    There is an equally interesting hypothesis that dogs are well-suited to human companionship

    because they learn to mimic our facial expressions with fair accuracy.

    Cats have been reported to be developing smaller brains since their domestication. Whatever it takes, I guess.

  • Questions (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:17PM (#46300855)
    Ever notice how when you ask a dog a question, it almost always tilts its head and gives you a puzzled look? Cracks me up every time.
  • Re:Dogs are best (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:15PM (#46301213)

    Because until very recently domesticated cats didn't interact directly with humans. Their job was pest control. Dogs on the other hand have had intimate relationships with humans for millennia, whether as working animals or pets, and have evolved to communicate and bond with us directly. That makes dogs exceptionally unique.

    OTOH, just because they're so unique doesn't necessarily mean that any particular characteristic is unique among all other species. But all their traits in the aggregate make them uniquely symbiotic with humans.

  • Bad Assumption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Baby Duck ( 176251 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @12:39AM (#46301731) Homepage

    "When you hear a friend's voice, you immediately picture her ..."

    Nope. I do not. I might visualize an abstract, inky blob, but I most certainly do not picture the person.

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

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:00AM (#46302255) Journal
    Precisely, cats were not so much "domesticated" as attracted to rodents that were attracted to human garbage. Dogs and humans often make inter-species "friendships" for mutual benefit, the Coyote and the Badger is just one such example. It's more a less a given that highly intelligent pack hunters such as humans and dogs would combine their natural hunting skills.

Science may someday discover what faith has always known.