Navigation Links
Like Babies, Dogs Pick Up on People's Intent
Date:1/5/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Man's beloved four-legged friends not only respond to the words and ministrations of humans, dogs can understand and anticipate the intentions of their people, researchers are reporting.

In a new study, dogs who were spoken to or who had direct eye contact with a person were more likely to follow that human's gaze as it moved across the room than if the person didn't make direct eye contact with them.

The skills are equivalent to what is seen in 6-month-old human infants, say researchers, who published their findings online Jan. 5 in Current Biology.

"These results support the notion that dogs are sensitive to the cues signaling humans' communicative intent in a way that is analogous to preverbal human infants," said study author Jozsef Topal.

"Dogs were domesticated for the purpose of working with people, so it's essential that the two species are able to communicate," said Adam Goldfarb, director of pet care issues at The Humane Society of the United States. "Even though most dogs have transitioned away from their work of herding or hunting, they've retained their communication tools."

More and more research is illuminating the uncanny human-like qualities of Canis lupus familiaris, better known as the domestic dog.

One study in the July 2011 issue of Learning & Behavior found that domesticated dogs were more likely to beg food from a person looking at them as opposed to someone who wasn't paying attention.

And canine-intelligence expert Stanley Coren has found that dogs have the developmental abilities of a human 2-year-old, with the average dog capable of learning the meanings of 165 words.

In the new study, 16 pet dogs watched videos of female actors turning towards a plastic pot.

In the first experiment, the actor gazed directly at the dog and said in a high-pitched voice, "Hi dog!"

In the second experiment, the actor said "Hi dog" in a low-pitched voice but didn't make eye contact.

Using eye-tracking techniques, which are already commonly used to study infant behavior, the researchers determined that the dogs were more likely to follow the human turning toward the pot when they had both been spoken to and received direct eye contact. Saying "Hi dog" in a low-pitched voice without the direct gaze didn't cue the dogs in to the human's intent.

Eye-tracking techniques are also likely to be useful in studying other aspects of dogs' cognitive processing, such as memory skills and reasoning abilities, said Topal, who is an associate professor in the Comparative Behavior Research Group at the Institute for Psychological Researches, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in Budapest.

"The [dog's] gaze was only triggered when preceded by communicating intent. It does seem to be that dogs do look at humans and follow gestures," said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Mass. "This is intuitive to anyone who owns a dog, that dogs seem to be more in tune with us than some scientists believe."

"This should reinforce that if we want our dog's attention, we should be clear about it," Goldfarb said. "For those people who talk to their dog in a baby-talk voice, they should keep it up. Your dog knows that you're talking to him or her and will pay more attention."

More information

The Humane Society of the United States has more on canine behavior.

SOURCES: Jozsef Topal, Ph.D., associate professor, Comparative Behavior Research Group, Institute for Psychological Researches, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest; Adam Goldfarb, director, Pet Care Issues, The Humane Society of the United States; Nicholas Dodman, DVM, director, Animal Behavior Clinic, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, Mass.; Jan. 5, 2012, Current Biology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say
2. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Louisiana is 46th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
3. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Georgia is 50th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
4. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Maryland is 48th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
5. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; District of Columbia is 51st Among All States in Maternal Mortality
6. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Arkansas is 44th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
7. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Delaware is 42nd Among All States in Maternal Mortality
8. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Mississippi is 45th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
9. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Nebraska is 40th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
10. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Oklahoma is 39th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
11. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; New Mexico is 49th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Like Babies, Dogs Pick Up on People's Intent
(Date:2/5/2016)... New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... use and find themselves having to wait longer to access the treadmills. It’s a ... New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get in shape by joining gyms, starting ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Pivot Point Consulting, a leading national Healthcare ... Services for HIT Implementation Support & Staffing report with an outstanding score of ... healthcare executives, managers and clinicians representing over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 clinics. , ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Stuart Bentkover, ... technology, the PicoSure. Designed to provide the most effective tattoo removal today, Dr. Bentkover ... unmatched results. , Developed by Cynosure, the PicoSure has been approved by the Food ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Pekin, IL (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... in disguised form as a dream. A hallmark feature of patients with eating disorders ... and needs. The eating disorder behaviors and obsessions are regarded as maladaptive means for ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... On June 9-10, ... a continuing medical education (CME) event presented by the Association for Comprehensive Care ... first for ACCORD, whose mission is to provide education, tools, and resources to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... WILLIAMSBURG, Va. , Feb. 5, 2016  ivWatch, a ... a Virginia Outstanding STEM Award granted by Governor Terry ... for Science Innovation on February 25th at an event to ... . The STEM award honors professionals and business that ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160205/330117LOGO ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... MILTON, Ontario , Feb. 5, 2016  Aralez ... business combination of POZEN Inc. ("POZEN") and Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada ... of POZEN and shareholders of Tribute. The combined company ... specialty pharmaceutical company with operations in Canada ... the United States . Under the terms ...
(Date:2/5/2016)...  Venice,s newest laser clinic, Physicians Advanced ... kind in the area and specializes in the ... The physician-owned and operated laser clinic is taking ... with its revitalizing skin care approach, unprecedented eVisit ... technology. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160204/329957 --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: