How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

Dogs associate their owner’s scent with happy thoughts, according to a new study. Essentially, a dog can smell the scent of someone they like and it causes a positive reaction in the area of a dog’s brain associated with pleasure.

Read more about this study in this article: Dogs Associate Their Owner’s Scent With Happiness

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The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?

After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.

With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns’s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.

How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

File Size: 21455 KB
Print Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Amazon Publishing; 1 edition (October 22, 2013)
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B00CLIK6NA
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray:
Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Screen Reader: Supported
Enhanced Typesetting: Enable

More about the author
Gregory Berns, M.D., Ph.D., is the Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University. His research has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Nature, Money, New Scientist, Psychology Today, and on CNN, NPR, ABC, and the BBC. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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