05/04/2018

What Does Your Dog Really Think About You?

24:55 minutes

Sit. Come. Stay. Your dog knows how to do it all, and she even seems to understand what you’re saying. But every dog owner has probably wondered what exactly is going on inside the mind of their prized pooch. Does Spot really understand what you’re saying, or is he just trained by the treat bag? Does Fluffy have a concept of time? And how do our furry companions make sense of the world?

[Did you know there’s a difference between poisonous and venomous creatures? Put your knowledge to the test.]

Neuroscientist Gregory Berns, the subject of the latest Macroscope video, has trained dogs to sit inside fMRI scans to see what happens inside their brains when they are presented with rewards and new faces, among other things. He and Ira dig into the world of dog cognition, to figure out what dogs really think and feel.

Meanwhile, here in the Science Friday office, we had a little dog-nition debate going, so we asked Twitter to weigh in. Here’s what you said:


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Segment Guests

Gregory Berns

Gregory Berns is a professor of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Meet the Producer

About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

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