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An owner?s scent activates the parts of a dog?s brain associated with pleasure, a new brain-imaging study says.

Thus, a dog encountering its owner?s smell could feel in some way like a person reacting to the perfume or cologne of a loved one, according to study leader Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University in Atlanta.

For his research, Berns trains dogs to sit still during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), allowing him to look into the minds of man?s best friends. Compared with MRI, which takes images of the brain, fMRI measures the activity of the brain?s nerve cells.

Though people and dogs have been bonding for 40,000 years, scientists still have trouble interpreting their barks, wags, and other behaviors.

?We started the dog project about three years ago to get around this problem that we really don?t know what dogs are thinking or what they?re experiencing,? said Berns, whose study appeared March 6 in the journal Behavioural Processes.

Specifically, Berns and his team studies areas of the dog brain that are similar to areas in our brains, such as structures associated with reward.

In the new study, Berns and his team performed fMRI on 12 dogs, including 5 service or therapy dogs and his own dog, Callie, to test their response to biological odors.

The experiment dogs were presented with five scents on gauze pads: a familiar human, an unfamiliar human, a dog that lived in their household,  an unfamiliar dog, and their own scent.

The researchers found that the dogs? caudate nucleus, an area of the brain associated with positive expectations, was most activated by the scent of the familiar person.

This suggests not only that dogs can discern their familiar humans and have a positive expectation about them, but also that these humans? smells linger in a dog?s mind.

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I wonder what my cat thinks...

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cat can also discern people, my cats are very friendly with me, but with other peoples they quite cautious.

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I wonder what my cat thinks...

Feed me or die

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Feed me or die

 

I actually starved him today because I gave him his wet food on his rubber dish. I came back in the room expecting to see a satisfied purring cat, but instead I saw a clump of wet food stuck to the carpet, and the rubber dish next to his litterbox. I quickly got the message, I was supposed to starve the spoiled brat, not spoil it some more.

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I actually starved him today because I gave him his wet food on his rubber dish. I came back in the room expecting to see a satisfied purring cat, but instead I saw a clump of wet food stuck to the carpet, and the rubber dish next to his litterbox. I quickly got the message, I was supposed to starve the spoiled brat, not spoil it some more.

 

cate.jpg

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this just in - scientists has developed procedure to swap your dog's brain with your girlfriend's.

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The real danger would be: Competing with you to sniff and then lick/suck your GF's or your BF's :)

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I think it's more of, I smell my meal ticket ... food time :p

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Dogs are, in the end, a humongous nose which has grown 4 legs and a huge, loving, heart.

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