I found lots of different articles on how dogs perceive humans. Some of which support my thesis and some which contradict my thesis. However, they are mostly in favor of my thesis.
Due to recent innovations in brain imaging, scientists are starting to get a better picture of what is happening inside a dog’s brain. Researchers concluded that dogs see their owners like family. Dogs rely on humans for affection, protection, and food. Scientist concluded this from a recent study about “odor processing in a dog’ sprain. Dogs were told to lie on a MRI and scientists measured their response to the smell of people and dogs. Because smell is such an integral part of a dog’s life, the way dogs respond to smell shows a lot about how they feel about humans. Scientists found the dog’s owner’s smell activated the caudate nucleus, which is the reward center of a dog’s brain. Dog’s Smelling and Human Relationship
A new study shows that dog’s brains respond to actual words, not just tone. DOos can’t produce words, but through this research, they were found to know more than 1000 human words. Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest experimented on dogs in a FMRI. They said meaningful words like good boy! and meaningless words like “as if” to the dogs in a praising tone and a monotone. The dogs processed the meaningful words on the left side of the brain, while they processed the meaningless words and tones on the right side of the brain. (Humans also process tones on the right side of their brain.) When meaningful words were said in a praising tone, the reward center lit up. This demonstrates how dogs process human speech.
A type of connection between child and parent connection is called the “secure base effect”. The Secure Base Effect states that children need their parents to confidently perform. According to a new study by the University of Veterinary MEdicine in Vienna, dogs have a childlike connection with their owners, proven by an existence of the Secure Base Effect. The study by University of Veterinary medicine examined the dogs when presented with treats with three variables: absent owner, silent owner, and encouraging owner. The dogs were less excited to earn food when their owner was not encouraging. They also did the same experiment, except this time they had a stranger presenting treats in a encouraging, absent, and silent way. This time, there was virtually no reaction by the dog to the owner. They concluded that the dog needed its owner to confidently perform, which is part of the Secure Base effect. This shows that dogs have some sort of emotional connection to their humans.
Gregory Berns, the author of “How Dogs Love Us” used brain imaging to study if dogs are conscious of the fact that they are different than humans. According to the research, dogs that are presented with different odors can discern between dogs and humans. Interesting, the smell of humans causes the activation of the reward center in a dog’s brain. They know we are different, because we evoke a different place in our brains compared to dogs. However, Berns also claims that dogs associate for us for more than our tendency to drop food to them under the table. They simply love the company of their humans. However, dogs understand that humans have resources while other dogs do not. This is why the reward center activates when compared to other dogs. However, Berns says he think dogs know they are part of our family.