This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Neural correlates of emotions in dogs




Gotoor, Sai Sheshan Roy

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend; they share a close and intense relationship with humans and have shown to excel in reading human social cues, including facial cues. Due to this intimate relationship shared between humans and dogs, we try to understand the process behind how dogs perceive human emotions, and see how similar or different this process is when compared to humans. In this study, the neural correlates corresponding to emotional valence were studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Several dogs were presented with image and video stimuli of positive (happy), neutral, and negative (angry) emotions while being scanned. Brain responses to the stimuli were scanned and then modulated by the valence ratings of the stimuli (images and videos). Our findings reveal neural patterns of emotion valence processing in the caudate, amygdala, and hippocampus regions of the dogs’ brain.