Brain Scans Reveal Dogs’ Thoughts

Photo: Ildar Sagdejev (CC)

Add one more expensive and unnecessary expenditure to the many made by obsessive dog owners: an MRI scan to reveal their innermost thoughts. Via LiveScience:

Fido’s expressive face, including those longing puppy-dog eyes, may lead owners to wonder what exactly is going on in that doggy’s head. Scientists decided to find out, using brain scans to explore the minds of our canine friends.

The researchers, who detailed their findings May 2 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, were interested in understanding the human-dog relationship from the four-legged perspective.

“When we saw those first [brain] images, it was unlike anything else,” said lead researcher Gregory Berns in a video interview posted online. “Nobody, as far as I know, had ever captured images of a dog’s brain that wasn’t sedated. This was [a] fully awake, unrestrained dog, here we have a picture for the first time ever of her brain,” added Berns, who is director of the Emory University Center for Neuropolicy.

He added, “Now we can really begin to understand what dogs are thinking. We hope this opens a whole new door into canine cognition, social cognition of other species.”…

[continues at LiveScience]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • Ghostlore777

    I will tell you exactly what a dog is thinking at any given time:1) I’m Hungry
    2) That’s an interesting smell
    3) Play? Play? Play?
    4) I like that
    5) Hey! Hey! Hey! (read as” Bark! Bark! Bark!”)
    6) This looks like a good place to pee
    7) What’s that sound? 
    8) Whoa! Gotta poop!
    9) Thats MINE !!!
    10) I don’t like that

    • Liam_McGonagle

      That’s funny.  My dog blew his last working neuron trying to wrap his head around Zeno’s Arrow paradox.  Can’t get him to think about anything else now.

  • saint_al

    You don’t need a brain scan to figure out what a dog is thinking when its humping your leg. 

    • Eocene Holdover

      I am your superior and you will submit to my higher social standing in this pack. That’s what it is thinking.

  • Chaorder Gradient

    Only robots that looks like humans don’t know what a dog is thinking.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      What’s this with all the Mitt Romney jokes?  He’s still in his Beta testing phase, so I think the guy deserves a break, don’t you?