Dog Expert' Brains Distinguish Socially Relevant Body Postures Similarly in Dogs and Humans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

Abstract

We read conspecifics' social cues effortlessly, but little is known about our abilities to understand social gestures of other species. To investigate the neural underpinnings of such skills, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain activity of experts and non-experts of dog behavior while they observed humans or dogs either interacting with, or facing away from a conspecific. The posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) of both subject groups dissociated humans facing toward each other from humans facing away, and in dog experts, a distinction also occurred for dogs facing toward vs. away in a bilateral area extending from the pSTS to the inferior temporo-occipital cortex: the dissociation of dog behavior was significantly stronger in expert than control group. Furthermore, the control group had stronger pSTS responses to humans than dogs facing toward a conspecific, whereas in dog experts, the responses were of similar magnitude. These findings suggest that dog experts' brains distinguish socially relevant body postures similarly in dogs and humans.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere39145
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • condprcifies social cues, functional magnetic resonance imaging, socially relevant body postures

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 727943