Researchers from Turre project used gaze tracking and pupil size measuring as a window into the dogs’ minds. Researchers showed 43 dogs images of smiling and angry faces on a computer screen. Each dog was tested twice: once under the influence of oxytocin, which was administered as part of the test, and once without oxytocin.
Results show that oxytocin made dogs interested in smiling human faces and it also made them see angry faces as less threatening. Associated with affection and trust, the hormone oxytocin is probably a key factor in the interaction between dogs and humans.
Somppi S, Törnqvist H, Topál J, Koskela A, Hänninen L, Krause CM and Vainio O (2017)
Nasal Oxytocin Treatment Biases Dogs’ Visual Attention and Emotional Response toward Positive Human Facial Expressions.
Frontiers in Psychology, 17 October 2017.
University of Helsinki, Canine Mind group
Sanni Somppi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Outi Vainio, email@example.com