A new study has shown that dogs understand human language, like words and their meanings.
While scientists earlier thought that dogs respond to tone, a team of researchers in Hungary discovered that dogs actually do understand human language in a way similar to how humans understand language.
The experiment was the first of its kind, where researchers trained 13 dogs to voluntarily lie on an MRI bed, so that their brain activity could be monitored while they are spoken to.
While under the scanners, the dogs proved to process language in a way very similar to the way humans do, with their right side of the brain interpreting emotion and the left meaning.
While the right side would understand the tone the dog was spoken to in and the left understanding meaning, dogs showed to react when both sides of the brain agreed simultaneously.
If you would imagine that you are spoken to in a foreign language you can not really understand, but can recognize some words. If you add tone to the speech, you would most likely understand the message the person speaking to you is trying to deliver.
The dogs’ MRI scans were monitored while they were told positive things like ‘good boy’ and ‘well done’, in both cheerful and neutral tones, as well as meaningless words in either tones.
The scans proved that the left side of dogs’ brains react to words they know or are meaningful to them, while the right side recognized intonations. When both sides agreed that a word is good one in both meaning and tone, the dogs were the happiest.
There’s so much we still don’t understand about man’s best friend, like why they are such great long term companions to humans. But we now know one thing, dogs understand human language. So don’t you ever be embarrassed talking to your dog.