We all know that dogs are a man’s best friend. This is what has been going on for the last 18,000 years at least. Well since researches from the University of Mexico have been too curious to discover what happens in your dog’s brain when they see you, they decided to conduct a research. They built a MRI scan to delve into the emotional response of the dogs, and they published their results in PLOS one.
The study involved five Border Collie’s, one Labrador Retriever, and one Golden Retriever all recruited from local families.
First the dogs went through a training in order to get familiar and used to the MRI scan, and only after they got used to it, they were able to conduct the research. In this research, dogs were going to see 100 different images in total. 50 images of human faces, alongside with 50 images of objects.
“The results showed that the dog’s temporal cortex lit up with activity when they were subjected to images of human faces. The temporal cortex is a part of the brain unique to mammals, involved in the high-level visual processing of complex stimuli, such as faces.”
Long story short, dogs feel way happier, and rewarded when they see human faces, especially their family. Looks like their life revolves around their human, and nothing is more important that family to dogs.
“Given the importance of the faces for social behavior, we see this study as the beginning of new efforts to find the cerebral correlates of the perception and processing of faces in dogs. An important unclear issue is how dogs represent faces. In this study we focused only in human faces, mainly for the mutual attachment between dogs and humans and because there is plenty of evidence that dogs can extract valuable information from human faces, like emotional state or identity.”