Scientists have found that dog brains can actually process speech in a way that is similar to humans, according to a report by the New York Times. This means that they could understand the word and the tone.

13 canines were trained by dog scientists in Hungary to climb inside MRI machines and sit still as researchers spoke to them. The scientists used a variety of words and intonations, ranging from positive words and positive intonation, gibberish words with positive intonation, and words with no inflection at all.

They found that the canine’s left hemisphere picked up the meaning of the words, regardless of the intonation, which is the same way humans understand and respond to speech.

“It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match,” Attila Andics, head of the study, wrote in a statement. “So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”

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