American scientist have established a similarity in the thought processes of people and dogs

The scientist-neurologist Dr. Gregory Berns of Emory University in Atlanta almost my entire adult life is busy, that scans the brains of dogs, trying to find out whether they think, and if you think about it. The results of these studies burns outlined in his new book, “What it means to be a dog.”


Take just bull, that is a dog, not her horn. Your dog can love you and not the food you give her!

What pushed Dr. burns for his experiments? As strange as it might seem, but the reason for his scientific researches was the elimination of the American teams of the terrorist №1 Osama bin Laden. If you still remember, “seals” was accompanied by a dog named “Cairo”. She first jumped out of the helicopter, in which were the seals of retribution.

Watching a television show of this drama, burns thought about how much noise the helicopters. Then his thoughts turned to the fact that dogs have extremely sensitive hearing. “I thought if the military is able to train their dogs to climb in noisy helicopters, then why can’t they be driven into the apparatus for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?”.

Thoughts of scientists moving, obeying its logic. So, what prompted the burns on his experiment? Want to know what they think and feel dog. The year before he died beloved dog scientist – pug with a symbolic name “Newton”. Many scientist have pondered, loved his “Newton” or their relationship was based only on the food that burns was fed to a pug?

As a neurologist, burns watched as MRI helped scientists in understanding what part of the human brain “responsible” for the events, emotional processes. What if such testing dogs will help to establish similar processes in their brain?

Biggest obstacle to conduct the experiment was to drive the dogs to the office and get them not to move until a “useful image”.

Here is a scientist came dog trainer from Atlanta mark Apivac. In the basement of his house burns built a simulator similar to the real apparatus for MRI. With this simulator a scientist and a trainer introduced Terrier Callie. The dog gradually began to accustom to the noise and to the use of the stair steps leading to the simulator. It was difficult to get her to lay his head and to lie in this position as long as possible without movement.

After she learned all that she was placed in this unit.

Since 2012, burns, and Spivak thus coached and has scanned about 90 dogs. As a matter of principle, they have never made experimental dogs forced to climb into the machine. Dog “had a right” to leave if they wanted. No violence not apply to them.

The tests that exposed dogs did not differ from the tests faced by the people. So the dogs were trained to the test “to go or not to go” (go and no go). These tests are quite similar to the famous “marshmallow experiments” that measured the human ability to delay instant gratification (in these studies people are asked to choose between an immediate reward or increase it twice if it is “experimental” will not eat the sweetness immediately, but will wait 10-15 minutes)

In the case of dogs, a scientist and a trainer taught them to stick the muzzle into the target as soon as they heard the whistle means “go”. Then they taught the dogs reaction to a raised crossed arms — a sign of “no go”.

With the scanner, the experimenter watched when the signal “no go” intensified prefrontal cortex. At the same time, those dogs that was very active, behave “better”. (Similar to how people behave in the “marshmallow test”).

Similar phenomena in animals non-primates, and before that no one was watching. They prove that dogs include the same parts of the brain that people…

“If we’re loved the dog more of his food? And how is it possible to install?”, asks burns.

Was conducted an experiment. For some time the dog was given sausage, and simultaneously stroked them for a sign of praise for the behavior. Then, after examining the center of the brain that respond to reward, burns concluded that dogs in the majority are equally perceived and praise, and food.

Moreover, about 20% of dogs “appreciate” the praise above sausages! Here burns made the following conclusion — most dogs love their owners at least as much as the food we give them.

The experiments revealed one more important detail. When the dogs were shown pictures of objects and people, the part of their brain began “processing” a human. This means the following: dogs begin to perceive the importance of human individuals not only because they surround them from all sides. They are born with a coded desire to look people in the face. Burns this ability of dogs remained hidden from people.

Its importance cannot be overstated. It helps the training of service dogs. Burns for two years collaborated with the organization that trains service dogs. And I must say that it is not gratuitous. Service dogs cost from $20 thousand to $60 thousand. They need very intense training to perform their tasks.

Although puppies are specially nurtured for their subsequent use as service dogs, but as it turns out in the course of the training most of them are unable to perform certain tasks. Now the company has applied to burns to help them choose the puppies are able to become service dogs.

Burns began to scan the puppies and observe their further growth. He concluded saying that those puppies that were the best candidates, had increased activity in the compartments of the brain, where most dopamine receptor. But in those compartments of the brain associated with fear, the activity of the puppies were clearly inhibited.

Activity burns ‘ dogs are not restricted. In recent years a record number of sea lions was thrown on the coast of California. Most of them were in a condition similar to epileptic seizures and could not function normally. Together with other scientists burns has scanned the brains of these poor animals, trying to determine what part of their brain has malfunctioned. It was the hippocampus (area of brain that is responsible in the first place, for memory). In humans this part of the brain goes down, when brain injuries cause temporary epilepsy.

Burns writes: “Sea lions taught me that the problems in the minds of animals look very similar to the problems people have. My research showed their striking resemblance.”

“Of course, says burns, is very difficult to guess what the animals think. Because they do not have the ability to communicate. But looking at their brains, you begin to understand how some of their processes repeat human. You begin to understand that animals are not things.”

Burns believes that his research could not affect his personal life. He became a vegetarian. He resents the fact, as animals bred in industrial centers. They don’t know any other life until they are driven to slaughter. And very often this happens in an extremely rude manner. “If animals understand that they are suffering, and I think they understand it, we must change our attitude to them,” says burns. He insists that animals have brains that can survive many human emotions…

By the way, I am also a vegetarian…



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