In this article, the brains of dogs and their neurological capacity is explored.
Biology Letters published their results on the mechanisms of a dog’s brain.
Gregory Berns, a senior on this study stated, “Our work not only shows that dogs use a similar part of their brain to process numbers of objects as humans do — it shows that they don’t need to be trained to do it.”
In the study, an fMRI was used to scan the dogs’ brains. On these images, it was shown that the parietotemporal cortex produced a lot of contrast and response.
This system supports the ability to rapidly estimate of objects in a scene, such as the number of threats approaching or the amount of food available.
However, much of the research conducted included an intensive training of the dogs.
Berns is founder of the Dog Project which is an organization that studies the evolution of dogs. The project was to first to train dogs to voluntarily enter an fMRI scanner.
Berns states his findings, “Our results provide some of the strongest evidence yet that numerosity is a shared neural mechanism that goes back at least that far.”
Overall this study found that “new canine numerosity study suggests that a common neural mechanism has been deeply conserved across mammalian evolution.”‘