Reactivity of dogs' brain oscillations to visual stimuli measured with non-invasive electroencephalography

Miiamaaria Kujala, H. Törnqvist, S. Somppi, L. Hänninen, C.M. Krause, Outi Vainio, J. Kujala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Studying cognition of domestic dogs has gone through a renaissance within the last decades. However, although the behavioral studies of dogs are beginning to be common in the field of animal cognition, the neural events underlying cognition remain unknown. Here, we employed a non-invasive electroencephalography, with adhesive electrodes attached to the top of the skin, to measure brain activity of from 8 domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) while they stayed still to observe photos of dog and human faces. Spontaneous oscillatory activity of the dogs, peaking in the sensors over the parieto-occipital cortex, was suppressed statistically significantly during visual task compared with resting activity at the frequency of 15–30 Hz. Moreover, a stimulus-induced low-frequency (∼2–6 Hz) suppression locked to the stimulus onset was evident at the frontal sensors, possibly reflecting a motor rhythm guiding the exploratory eye movements. The results suggest task-related reactivity of the macroscopic oscillatory activity in the dog brain. To our knowledge, the study is the first to reveal non-invasively measured reactivity of brain electrophysiological oscillations in healthy dogs, and it has been based purely on positive operant conditional training, without the need for movement restriction or medication.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61818
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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