Researchers at Emory University have trained two dogs to sit still enough inside an fMRI that we can begin studying how a dog’s brain reacts to seeing various cues from its owner. The results of this study will be published soon in PLoS ONE. Gregory Berns, who’s leading the project says, “We hope this opens up a whole new door for understanding canine cognition and inter-species communication. We want to understand the dog-human relationship, from the dog’s perspective.” I think the researchers are stretching the broader impacts of this research a little bit, but it’s still really cool! Check out the video below:
Nifty factoid: Because there’s a change in magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood, functional magnetic resonance imaging (or fMRI) works by detecting changes in blood flow in the brain.