Scientist Says New Research Proves 'Dogs Are People Too'

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Do you ever think that your dog knows exactly how you feel? It probably does. According to the Daily Mail U.K., Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University, has discovered that dogs have emotions just like humans.

Scientist Says New Research Proves 'Dogs Are People Too'

Through the use of MRI scans, Berns discovered that dogs and humans use the same part of their brains to feel. The professor started his research hoping to find out how a dog's brain works and what the animals think of humans.

In veterinary practices, dogs are put under an anesthetic to obtain an MRI so they don't become stressed by the procedure. For Berns' work, he needed his dog patients to be alert so he could observe their true brain functions. To overcome this obstacle, Berns and a dog trainer worked to teach the professor's dog to sit through an MRI simulator. After months of training and work with a real MRI machine, Berns and his dog were able to get the first maps of canine brain activity.

These maps showed Berns that dogs use their caudate nucleus, a part of the brain between the brain stem and the cortex, in a similar way to humans. The caudate has a large number of dopamine receptors that increase in both dogs and humans in response to a highly anticipated moment. In dogs, caduate activity increased when they smelled a familiar human, or when their owners reappeared after leaving the room.

"Do these findings prove that dogs love us? Not quite. But many of the same things that activate the human caudate, which are associated with positive emotions, also activate the dog caudate," Berns said.

Showing positive feelings like love and attachment could mean that dogs are as sentient as a human child. Berns hope to further these new findings and use them to expanding the rights of animals.


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Hilda Wong-Ehrhardt

No, I don't think dogs are people----because they are much better. Their love is pure and selfless, and never-changing.They are truly honest, they don't cheat and don't betray. We can never find these qualities in people.

November 09 2013 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hilda Wong-Ehrhardt

No, I don't think dogs are people------because they are better, truly honest, selfless and their love to us is pure and never-changing. You never find all these qualities in people.

November 09 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jill Lerman Nazimek

If you want to know more about the bonding between people and dogs, read. read Elsa Was Born a Dog; I Was Born a Human. Things have Changed by Rhoda Lerman. The chapter on dog-persons is worth the price of the book! It is brand new, so you can get an autographed (customized or just signed!) hardback @

October 12 2013 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bonnie Baker-Duff

Read Elsa Was Born a Dog, I Was Born a Human... Things Have Changed, by Rhoda Lerman to learn more about Elsa, a reluctant and terrified new mother of 17 Newfoundland puppies, who needs Lerman, to take over the task of caring for her enormous litter. As Elsa, (person-dog) and Lerman (dog-person) live through the fragile, joyful, terror-filled days of birth and growth, watch as the two of them discover more of what they need to know about each other and ultimately about the universe.
A wonderful read...more proof, at least to me, that dogs ARE people too.

October 11 2013 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sometimes we have to wait soo-oo long for science to catch up. I agree. If it helps animal rights to go forward & be more than a joke in most places then I say go for it. Speed it up.

October 10 2013 at 7:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tina Tta Gosson Dace

I have loved animals all my life all animals,but some such as dogs cats and horses react to things so much like we do.I never considered they did not have feelings&souls.very glad the rest of the world is takeing time to notice.

October 09 2013 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have always had dogs and knew that dogs have emotions . The incident that stands out in my life happened a few years ago. My Mother was receiving care from Hospice in my home. One day my 2 boxers would not stay out of her room,they were sleeping under the hospital bed and licking her hands when she was awake. She passed early that evening. They stayed by my side after she was gone. I have to believe they knew what was happening.

October 09 2013 at 11:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

As a life longdog lover, dog owner, trainer/handler, I know this to be true. A dog knows his owner. Knows the owner's schedule, moods, wants.

October 09 2013 at 9:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

All of us who know dogs... and really LOVE dogs... have known this from childhood. That is one reason sadists pick on dogs as objects of their evil. They also know dogs FEEL... love, fear, anticipation, terror... and forever, even in the most dire circumstances, those that I have rescued, showed that they still had the need to feel HOPE!

October 09 2013 at 9:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Further to my note re our German Shepherdd. Very high IQ. Hade been trained to "make" in certain spot in backyard when could not be walke3d. Would ask to be let out, I would watch her...she would check to see if I was watching, and then try to take a walk around the block. I would call out to her "nothing doing", she would let out a sigh and do her business. If she did slip awaY, I would get in car. drove aound back, call out "Roxie, I see you," and she would trot out from her exploration of garbage cans, Hop into back seat, and go home. I would drive daily to pick up my son, who worked part time. Roxie in back seat. If I deviated from the regular route, she would get hysterical until I turned iunto the correct street!

October 09 2013 at 9:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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