Being told that our dog understands us perfectly is something that does not surprise those of us who live with these animals. When you've spent part of your life with these furry friends, you know that their ability to differentiate the moods of humans is extraordinary..
But of course, one thing is what we think (after all, we only look at them with good eyes) and what science thinks is quite another. Well, friends of the dogs, rejoice, because now we have a scientific study that proves us right in terms of our claims.
It has been discussed at length whether the reaction of dogs to our emotions is an innate or learned behavior.. This, together with the tendency we have to "humanize " animal behavior, has given rise to extensive debates on the subject.
Even if it looks like a lie, this behavior had never been studied in an analytical and scientific way, But, a few days ago, the prestigious journal The Royal Society has published a study that shows that dogs recognize both the emotions of their peers and those of humans. To do this, they use a series of stimuli, mainly visual and auditory, which help them to decipher how the human in front of them feels..
According to Daniel Mills, study co-author, “There is an important difference between associative behavior, such as learning to respond appropriately to an angry voice, and the recognition of a series of different signals, which, together, indicate certain emotions. Our findings are the first to show that dogs really know how to recognize emotions in humans and other dogs. ".
- How have scientists come to this conclusion?
How have scientists come to this conclusion?
To check if the dogs were responding to emotions by learned behavior or because they really recognized them, researchers at the University of Lincoln used different combinations between dogs and humans that had never interacted before.
The dogs were shown images of humans and other dogs expressing positive or negative emotions. These images were accompanied by recordings in which someone was screaming in anger or saying nice things, in the case of humans, and aggressive or game-inducing barking, in the case of dogs..
Sometimes the attitude reflected in the audio did not match the image they were seeing. In some cases it was an image of someone happy with a recording of someone angry and vice versa. The researchers found that when the images and sound showed the same feelings, the dogs acted in a much clearer and more direct way that when image and sound did not match.
This means that dogs absorb information from multiple sources to put it together and give meaning to what happens.. This is the first time that an animal - not a primate - has been shown to have a compression of complex emotions in individuals of another species and this characteristic is probably one of the main advantages that allowed the domestication of our faithful friends, the dogs.
Source: A plus