Friday, December 20, 2013

Your Dog Recognizes Your Face...But in Pictures Too?!

If you have ever had a pet dog, you know for sure that they recognize who you are - that you are their person. Research has now taken things one step further and determined that they recognize you not only in real time but also in pictures! Now this is pretty impressive stuff. Here is a report from CBS news on the matter...

"Your dog may be able to recognize your face in a photo. That’s the latest from the University of Helsinki, which published the results of its study in the journal Animal Cognition this December.

According to Science News Daily, the researchers had dogs look at facial images of familiar humans (such as their owner) and other dogs in the family, as well as unfamiliar humans and dogs they’d never encountered. Then the researchers measured the dogs’ eye movements as they viewed the photos.

Scientists say that while the dogs viewed the faces of other dogs for longer than the human faces (backing up findings from previous studies), the canines studied also studied the faces of familiar humans for longer than unfamiliar ones.

Additionally, when the dogs were given upside-down photos of faces to view, they viewed those in much the same way that humans do. While the pups stared at the inverted pictures for just as long, they tended to focus more on the eye area of the upright photos.

“Familiar faces and eyes attracted more fixations than the strange ones, suggesting that dogs are likely to recognize conspecific [relating to the same species] and human faces in photographs,” the study’s authors conclude."

Pretty awesome huh! I know I have a new found appreciation of my dog's intelligence, how about you?

Michelle Brockman for
Jonah's Place

Link to original article:
Photocredit: Denver Post file photo

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