Home Forums Dog Dog Food and Treats Dog’s special response to owner’s smell

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    A dog’s sense of smell is a thousand times more sensitive than human’s, and a recent study has used it to reveal the special position of the human owner in the dog’s heart. The study found that the key area of the dog’s brain only lights up when it smells from its owner, while the dog doesn’t light up when it smells from other dogs, even from a familiar partner, researchers at Emory University in Georgia said. “So we think it’s a kind of positive emotional response to familiar human smells.” Gregory Berns, the team leader, said. The study, published in the journal behavioral process, involved training more than a dozen dogs to stay still in an MRI machine without being paralyzed or trapped.

    So the researchers were able to look at two areas of the dog’s brain: the olfactory bulb, which suggests that the animal’s sense of smell is activated, and the caudate nucleus. According to previous studies, other mammals, including the human caudate nucleus, have suggested the region’s role in dealing with positive expectations, such as social rewards. The 12 dogs were exposed to five different odors within 30 minutes of being stationary in an MRI scanner. The odors came from the dogs themselves, another dog living under the same roof, an unfamiliar dog, a familiar human and another human that the dogs had never seen before.

    The researchers found that when dogs were exposed to each odor, the olfactory bulb “was activated to a similar degree.”. However, the degree to which familiar human odors activate the olfactory bulb is more significant. “Dogs can not only distinguish this smell from other smells, but also have a positive connection with it. This proves that dogs have a good sense of smell and provides clues to the importance of human beings in dog life. ”

    However, Professor burns added that they were not sure whether the person or the person’s behavior, such as providing food for dogs, activated the positive response. “Although this possibility exists, we don’t think the probability is very large. Because most dogs are familiar with humans who are not their primary caregivers. ”

    The study was based on a previous study by the same team that found that the brain part associated with “feeling” in dogs is the same as that in humans. Professor Burns says there is a striking similarity between the structure and function of the caudate nucleus, a key brain region in dogs and humans. The caudate nucleus is located between the brain stem and cortex, and it is rich in dopamine receptors. The team found that when faced with hand signals, which indicate the presence of food, the activity of the caudate nucleus in the dog’s brain increased. “These findings prove that dogs love humans? not always. But many of the things that activate the caudate nucleus in humans – mainly related to positive emotions – also activate the caudate nucleus in dogs.

    Neuroscientists call it functional homology, which may be a cue for dog emotions. This ability to experience positive emotions, such as love and attachment, may suggest that dogs also have sensory abilities similar to those of human children.

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