Dogs Can Understand the Expressions Behind Human Emotions, Study Finds

Dogs Can Understand the Expressions Behind Human Emotions, Study Finds

Dogs can apparently understand the emotions behind expressions on human faces.

A study published in Springer’s journal, Learning & Behavior, found dogs turn their head towards the left when a human expressed anger, fear and happiness, but turned their head to the right when humans expressed surprise. At the same time, dogs in the study experienced increased heart rate when humans showed expressions of happiness.

Researchers presented 26 dogs with images of the same two adults’ faces with different expressions on monitors. The monitors were placed on both sides of the dog while it was eating food out of a bowl.

These findings suggest dogs process human emotions with different sides of their brains - negative emotions appear to be processed by the right hemisphere of dog’s brains, while more positive emotions are processed by the left side.

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