(Mirror Daily, United States) – Those of you have dogs might be aware of the fact that your dog understands you but now a study has made it official: dogs understand human emotions.
It is well known that dogs, as many other animals are able to feel certain things. The most common feeling sensed by many animals, including dogs, is fear. This is why we are always advised not to fear or not to show fear when a dog is around as it might become suspicious and even dangerous.
However, it looks like fear is not the only trigger for dogs’ behavior. They use many of their senses to understand human emotions. A team of researchers from UK and Brazil have conducted a study to see how and what can dogs feel and understand.
17 dogs participated in the study. They were domestic but not previously trained to detect emotions. To see how the dogs react to different human emotions, the researchers have showed them some images and played them sounds simultaneously. The images were depicting both humans and dogs and were differentiated into two categories: positive and negative. The positive emotions included happiness and playfulness, whereas the negative included angriness and aggressiveness.
The photos were paired with either appropriate or inappropriate sound. Meaning a happy photo could be accompanied by a joyful sound or an angry sound. The images and sounds were not familiar for the dogs, meaning they haven’t seen those faces before, nor did they hear the sound prior to the test.
It seems that the dogs were more interested in the sounds and images that matched, this being a sign that they were able to understand what they were hearing and seeing. Although previous studies have showed that dogs can recognize facial expressions, this study shows they can recognize emotions. They do it using two senses: visual and auditory. They combine the information received and perceive it as an emotion and they can differentiate between emotions, which means they have an internal system of categorization. Such cognitive abilities have only been seen in primates and humans so far.
All in all, our canine friends are really smart, and possess very complex skills, which help them notice if we’re angry or happy and therefore, they can react accordingly. This is why, after a hard day at work, coming home to your dog will make you feel better instantly.
Image source: www.bing.com
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