As a new scientific study revealed. Domestic dogs seem to be more sensitive to women’s voices. The pitch of her voice is usually higher than that of men.
Delving deeper, researchers from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary conducted an electroencephalogram (EEG) analysis that shed more light on how dogs listen to people when they talk to them.
The striking thing about this case is not only that dogs hear us, but that they do so in a way that is strangely similar to human children – that is, they prefer certain tones. As you know, children show increased sensitivity to “children’s” speech. This is a distinctive, high-pitched way of speaking that overemphasizes vowels. It has been shown that this type of talk may benefit an infant’s developing brain.
Returning to our four-legged friends, although dogs do not usually use such tones in their interactions with each other, they seem to respond positively to the “baby” way of speaking.
The researchers’ method involved training 19 dogs of different breeds to lie still in an fMRI machine. These dogs, ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old, were exposed to three types of recorded human speech: the first recording of a person talking to a dog, the second of an infant, and the third of a conversation between adults. . These recordings included male and female speakers.
The results revealed that dogs recorded increased brain activity when speaking in a high tone, especially when it came in a female voice! Interestingly, similar brain areas that were activated in dogs during this study were also observed to activate in infants when exposed to this style of speech.
Anna Gabor, a neuroethicist from Eötvös Lorand University, has tried to provide an explanation, but the roots of the phenomenon are still debated. Some scientists suggest that there is an innate sensitivity in mammals to high-pitched sounds, while others believe it may be a trait that humans inadvertently selected during the domestication of wolves. It is worth noting that wolves are more sensitive to low-pitched speech, unlike domestic dogs.
But the study had some limitations, as it did not take into account the gender of each dog’s owner, for example. However, the similarities observed between dogs and human infants in response to speech suggest that dogs may be able to provide us with insights into early patterns of human communication.
The survey has a title “Dog brains are sensitive to displays directed at infants and dogs.”And posted on Communication biology From the scientific journal Nature dated August 18, 2023.
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