MRI scans decoding emotions of man’s best friend

Every dog owner has wondered what goes through the mind of their pet, but the answer to this question has proven elusive. However, thanks to MRI scans and some well-trained test subjects, researchers are beginning to understand just how complex dog emotions can be.

Gregory Berns, PhD, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues have been imaging canine brains and discovered a number of similarities in structure and function between humans and dogs, particularly in the caudate nucleus region of the brain. After discovering that dogs are able to experience positive emotions and a level of sentience comparable to a human child, Berns took to the New York Times opinion page with a bold statement: Dogs are people, too.

Check out the video below for more on how this research was conducted, and follow the link at the bottom of the page to read Berns’ full editorial.