New research reveals dogs can ‘picture’ items like humans.

When a dog fetches a ball or follows an instruction, it's hard to know what's going on inside its head.  

Can dogs understand and respond to tone of voice, word syllables, hand movements, body language, or just context? Some behavioral studies have suggested it, but recent research shows that our favorite animal buddies understand words.   

According to a March 22 Current Biology study, dogs' brain activity suggests they can distinguish words for various items and are surprised by mismatched words and objects.   

Neuroscientists and animal behavior experts measured 27 pet dogs' brain electrical pulses using non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) testing in an experiment with their owners and some favorite toys.  

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An electrical impulse pattern resembled a human signal. The findings illuminate canine noggins and complicated language beginnings.   

a University of Maryland neurologist studying linguistics who wasn’t part in the current study.   

She says using EEG on dogs instead of more invasive methods to examine animal brains allows for more direct comparisons between humans and non-humans.   

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