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Brain Scan Shows Dogs Feel Love Similar to Humans

(Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Kinda funny really if you are a pet person and you interact everyday with your animal you really know that there is a bond there beyond food and security.

Now a group scientists feel they have proof to silence all the nay sayers. The research originates from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where they feel it has been proven conclusively that the part of the brain associated with positive emotions, was similar in dogs and humans.

To begin they trained dogs to cope with noisy magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, enabling them to sit still within a scanner to get clear images of their brains without sedating them. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns, who initially worked with a dog trainer said: ‘We can really begin to understand what a dog is thinking rather than infer it from their behavior.   ‘I thought that if military dogs can be trained to jump out of helicopters then surely we could train them to sit still inside an MRI scanner.’

They then Used hand signals to indicate to the dogs they were about to receive a food treat, and began to map the dog brain regions associated with positive emotions, and found it similar in dogs and humans.

They then did brain scans of dogs being offered treats by strangers and machines. Their findings showed a difference in the dogs reactions they felt proving they love us for things far beyond food, basically the same things that humans love us for, like social comfort and social bonds.’

His initial findings were published last year in a book called How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain.

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