Dogs are capable of recognizing familiar human language and differentiating it from an unfamiliar one, a fresh study suggests. Canines can also tell the difference between familiar words regardless of intonation.
Our canine pets appear to be able to distinguish various languages even without prior training, research by the Hungarian Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest has revealed. A dog can understand whether someone is speaking a familiar language or an unfamiliar one. They are also quite capable of understanding whether someone is actually saying something or just uttering nonsensical words, the scientists discovered.
A team led by Laura Cuaya placed 18 dogs into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and scanned their brains while playing excerpts from the children’s novella ‘The Little Prince’ in Spanish and Hungarian. Two of the dogs were familiar with Spanish while the rest were used to Hungarian, but none of the test subjects had heard both languages before.