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Animals Have Human Emotions

Dog owners have been saying it for years: “Dogs are really just four-legged, furry humans.” And now science backs it up! Researchers trained dogs to lay still in an FMRI machine and what they found is sure to make you go “awwwwww.”

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“FOR the past two years, my colleagues and I have been training dogs to go in an M.R.I. scanner — completely awake and unrestrained. Our goal has been to determine how dogs’ brains work and, even more important, what they think of us humans.”

Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

“Because of dogs’ prolonged evolution with humans, many of the canine cognitive skills are thought to represent a selection of traits that make dogs particularly sensitive to human cues. But how does the dog mind actually work? To develop a methodology to answer this question, we trained two dogs to remain motionless for the duration required to collect quality fMRI images by using positive reinforcement without sedation or physical restraints.”

Wolf Howling Is Mediated by Relationship Quality Rather Than Underlying Emotional Stress

“While considerable research has addressed the function of animal vocalizations, the proximate mechanisms driving call production remain surprisingly unclear. Vocalizations may be driven by emotions and the physiological state evoked by changes in the social-ecological environment, or animals may have more control over their vocalizations, using them in flexible ways mediated by the animal’s understanding of its surrounding social world.”

Chimpanzees of a feather sit together: Friendships are based on homophily in personality

“Like humans, many animals have close and stable friendships. However, until now, it has been unclear what makes particular individuals bond.”

Decades-long social memory in bottlenose dolphins

“Long-term social memory is important, because it is an ecologically relevant test of cognitive capacity, it helps us understand which social relationships are remembered and it relates two seemingly disparate disciplines: cognition and sociality.”

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