Neuroscientist: Brain imaging may prove “dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child.”


Anyone who has ever loved a dog knows they are sentient beings, capable of fostering an emotional bond with people.  But now science may be catching up with this widely held belief.  A neuroscientist wrote an opinion piece in Saturday’s New York Times about a new MRI study of awake dog brains:

Because dogs can’t speak, scientists have relied on behavioral observations to infer what dogs are thinking. It is a tricky business. You can’t ask a dog why he does something. And you certainly can’t ask him how he feels.


By looking directly at their brains and bypassing the constraints of behaviorism, M.R.I.’s can tell us about dogs’ internal states.

The author initially trained his own shelter dog to participate in the MRI study and eventually got a dozen dogs from the community involved.  The findings, some still preliminary and unpublished, lead to the title of the piece…

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