Of all the animals mankind interacts with on a regular basis, dogs have always seemed to be the most in tune with our emotional states. New research has attempted to examine why that might be, and scientists now believe they have evidence to show that dogs are incredibly adept at learning human facial cues. As it turns out, dogs really, really want their human companions to be happy, and may even share the reliance on the hormone oxytocin to promote social bonding with their two-legged caretakers.
Using eye tracking hardware to monitor the reactions of 43 individual canines, the scientists presented the dogs with images of human faces. The faces, which were either smiling or frowning, produced different reactions in the dogs, with pupil size suggesting the emotions the dogs were feeling when shown the faces. As you might expect, frowning or angry faces resulted in a sharp reaction from the dogs, with increased pupil size and attentiveness, while smiling faces put them more at ease, but that's not the entire story.
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Study reveals dogs are programmed to want to us to be happy originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 22 Nov 2017 at 13:00:25 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.