Get All Access for $5/mo

Shhh, Your Dog Actually Understands You Research finds that dogs and humans have similar neural networks for understanding speech.

By Don Reisinger

This story originally appeared on PCMag

PC Mag

Your dog would never judge you. After all, he can't even understand what you're saying. It's all Charlie Brown wah wah wah as far as Fido is concerned, right? Maybe not.

In an upcoming issue of Science, researchers will argue that dogs and humans have similar neural networks that can be used to understand speech. Although humans evolved to understand speech and intonation more effectively, data suggests that dogs can do the same on a much smaller scale.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), researchers gave dogs MRIs while a recording of their trainer's voices were played. Analyzing the neuron activity in the dogs' brains, they determined that not only did the animals understand words and the tone of a trainer's voice, but they were capable of interpreting the information in a way that is strikingly similar to how humans interpret it.

The study went so far as to find that dogs, like humans, use the left hemisphere of their brains to process specific words. A combination of positive words and positive intonation also produced the most appealing result for dogs.

"This shows … that dogs not only separate what we say from how we say it, but also that they can combine the two for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant," Andics told the AAAS.

In other words, Mr. Bojangles is listening, so watch your mouth.

Don Reisinger

Contributing Writer

Don Reisinger has been a contributing writer for Fortune since 2015.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Growing a Business

How to Determine The Ideal Length of Your Marketing Emails Your Customers Will Actually Read

Wondering how long your marketing emails should be? Here's what consumers say — so you can send them exactly what they like.

Leadership

Tech Overload Will Destroy Your Customer Relationships. Are You Guilty of Using Too Much Tech?

Technology's value in our world is undeniable. However, there can be a point where it is ineffective and possibly counterproductive. See where it can negatively impact your product, brand, and business.

Management

Most Gen Z Workers Want This One Thing From Their Employer. Are You Providing It?

Millions of college graduates are entering the workforce, and many feel unprepared. Here's the one thing they're looking for from potential employers — and how providing it will benefit you and your business in the long run.

Making a Change

Get a Lifetime of Babbel Language Learning for Just $150 Through June 17

Learn up to 14 languages over the course of a lifetime, with bite-size lessons, personalized reviews, and speech recognition tech.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."