If I could talk to the animals!

Emory University did a really cool, first of it’s kind, expirament with dogs to see how their brains respond to human communication.  They actually taught the dog to enter and lay still in a MRI scanner.

Fido’s expressive face, including those longing puppy-dog eyes, may lead owners to wonder what exactly is going on in that doggy’s head. Scientists decided to find out, using brain scans to explore the minds of our canine friends.

The researchers, who detailed their findings May 2 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, were interested in understanding the human-dog relationship from the four-legged perspective.

“When we saw those first [brain] images, it was unlike anything else,” said lead researcher Gregory Berns in a video interview posted online. “Nobody, as far as I know, had ever captured images of a dog’s brain that wasn’t sedated. This was [a] fully awake, unrestrained dog, here we have a picture for the first time ever of her brain,” added Berns, who is director of the Emory University Center for Neuropolicy.

Anyone who has a dog can relate to personal experiences of how their own pet responds to their moods, words, actions, and even unspoken feelings.  There was a scene in the movie “Molly and Me”, when Jennifer  Grogan (Jennifer Anniston) finds out that she lost her baby, and Marley walks over and places her head in Jennifer’s lap in such a comforting way.

A few years ago, I had surgery for a triple hernia.  When returned home from surgery that day, my dog, Mickey went totally crazy.  It was very obvious he know I was in intense pain and responded to me, without my even saying one word.  He hardly left my side for the next two weeks.

I it to not only be a natural occurrence, but some kind of a spiritual connection.  When you read the lives of the saints, there are many examples of animals responding to them.  St. Anthony preached and the fish poked their heads out of the water and appeared to listen attentively as the luke-warm souls watched in amazement.  Another time, St. Anthony converted heretics when the donkey he starved went and genuflected before the Most Blessed Sacrament, before going to eat fresh hay.  St. Francis reconciled a vicious wolf with a local community and he often talked to and communed with animals.

Read more of the article on Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/05/08/doggy-daydreams-brain-scans-reveal-fido-thoughts/?intcmp=features#ixzz1uKX3TbBN

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About Fr. Jay Finelli

Father Jay Finelli is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in the state of Rhode Island. He is a webmaster, podcaster, and blogger. In his free time, Father is an avid Live Steam enthusiast.

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If I could talk to the animals! — 1 Comment

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