Saturday, 14 February 2015

Dogs Know What That Smile on Your Face Means- A new study lends further proof that your pet can read your emotions

Whether it's with a sympathetic tilt of the head or the excited sweep of a tail, dogs seem to be saying they can sense exactly what we're feeling. Science is still undecided on the matter, although evidence in favor of the idea is stacking up. Now, a new study has found that dogs are able to tell the difference between happy and angry human facial expressions. (Related: "Animal Minds" in National Geographic magazine.) Biologist Corsin Müller of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria, and colleagues tested 11 dogs—including border collies, a fox terrier, a golden retriever, a German shepherd, and some mutts—using a touchscreen. The scientists trained the dogs to touch either a happy face or an angry face for a treat. They presented dogs with either the top half or the bottom half of the faces to ensure the animals weren't just responding to a smile or the baring of teeth. Emotions show on all parts of a human face, not just the mouth, says Müller, whose study was published February 12 in the journal Current Biology. "If you're angry, a wrinkle between the eyes shows up," he explains. The shape of the eyes can change too. So if the dogs were truly able to spot an emotion, they should be able to do so regardless of which part of the face they looked at. (See "Can Dogs Feel Our Emotions? Yawn Study Suggests Yes.")-read more-

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