How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

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9780544114517: How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?
 
After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.
 
With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns’s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.
 
How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Dog Project

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From the Author:

FAQ
Why did you start the Dog Project?
Two years ago, my favorite dog - a 14 year-old pug named Newton - died. After he was gone, I wondered if he had loved me the same way I had loved him. It seemed impossible to know. I had spent the last 20 years using brain imaging to study how the human brain works, and after Newton died, I realized that we could use the same tools to understand how the canine brain works. Dogs are very special animals. They have been with humans far longer than any other creature, and yet we really don't know what they are thinking.

Where do the dogs come from?
All of the dogs are owned and trained by people in the Atlanta community. They volunteer their time to participate mostly out of a love for their dogs and a curiosity to figure out what dogs are thinking. Many of our team members have experience raising service dogs for local and national service-dog groups. Others enjoy agility competition. Several of the dogs were adopted from shelters or rescue groups. We do not use, nor do we support the use of dogs (usually beagles) that have been purposely bred for research.

How does an MRI tell you what a dog is thinking?
We use a technique called functional MRI (fMRI). When neurons are active, they require more blood and oxygen, which is picked up with fMRI. The technique has been used in humans for 20 years.

Is MRI dangerous to the dog?
MRI uses a strong magnetic field (60,000 times Earth's magnetic field). By itself, the magnetic field poses no danger to the dogs. However, the field is strong enough to pull metallic objects into the magnet, making them projectiles. Just like human patients, we take extra care to make sure there is no metal on the dog or the humans in the room. We use only nylon collars. Microchips are MR-safe. As part of the MRI process, the scanner emits radio waves to excite protons in the body (this is the 'R' in 'MRI', standing for 'resonance'). Because some dogs do not weigh very much, we take care to limit the amount of radio waves emitted. The FDA sets limits on the radio power for humans by weight, which we follow for dogs. Finally, MRIs are loud. To protect the dogs' hearing, we train them to wear ear muffs.

What have you discovered?
Dogs' brains, in many ways, look and function just like human brains. We share many of the same basic structures (called a 'homology'), including a brain region that is associated with positive emotions. We are also beginning to understand how the dog's powerful sense of smell works to identify the members of his household.

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Descripción New Harvest, United States, 2013. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly man s best friend. But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking? After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question use an MRI machine to scan the dog s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner. With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom. How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence. Nº de ref. de la librería ABZ9780544114517

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Descripción New Harvest, United States, 2013. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly man s best friend. But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking? After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question use an MRI machine to scan the dog s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner. With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom. How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence. Nº de ref. de la librería ABZ9780544114517

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