Do you ever had a hard day and directly go to your animal companion and talk about it? And you see them eyeing at you like they understand you and all, and having them listen makes everything a bit better. Do you also sometimes says “hi” to them, and them wagging their tail or showing you their paw seem like they are talking back?
Bad news though, they don’t understand a thing you said.
Although dogs have human-like auditory capabilities for interpreting speech sound, they do not hear the differences between words in a way that humans do, a new study has found.
Researchers at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest measures the brain activity of family dogs using electroencephalography, which is a technique involving taping electrodes to the animals’ heads.
During the test, researchers played recorded instruction words to dogs, such as “sit” along with similar but nonsense words like “sut,” and then very different nonsense words like “bep.”
They found that dogs who are not specifically trained for the experiment could quickly tell the difference between the instruction words and the different nonsense words.
“The brain activity is different when they listen to the instructions, which they know, and to the very different nonsense words, which means that dogs recognize these words,” lead study author Lilla Magyari told CNN in an interview.
But, Magyari said the animals did not pay enough attention to the small differences between the known words and the nonsense words.
“But it seems like they don’t really pay attention to all of the speech sounds,” she added. “They may just not realize that all details, the speech sounds, are really important in human speech. If you think of a normal dog: That dog is able to learn only a few instructions in its life.”
The findings were published in the Royal Society Open Science journal on Tuesday.
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