As pets, dogs are exposed to a lot of human language throughout their lifetime. Yet, little is still known about how their brains perceive and analyze this linguistic auditory information. Are they able to tell the difference between a language and a “non-language”? And between two different languages?
This is what a team of researchers from Lorand-Iotvos University (Hungary) tried to establish. Laura V. Kuya, lead author of the study on the topic published in the journal neuroimagesaid in a press release that he had asked himself this question for the first time while traveling from Mexico to Hungary. Her border collie, Kun-kun, to whom she always spoke in Spanish, was moving in with her: “I wondered if Kun-kun saw that people in Budapest speak a different language, Hungarian”, she remembers.
“We know that humans, even preterm children” (Editor’s note before they develop a strictly speaking language) make the difference ” between different languages when they hear them. “But maybe the dogs don’t care”, Laura Kuya says Together with his team from the Department of Ethology, they conducted a brain imaging study (absolutely non-invasive and safe for tested animals) to answer these questions of language representation in the canine brain.
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