Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

New research may help us understand what our dogs are thinking

by Patt Morrison

Callie wears ear protection as she prepares to enter the scanner. The research team includes, from left, Andrew Brooks, Gregory Berns and Mark Spivak. Bryan Meltz/Emory University

That look on Sparky’s face? Love. Adulation. Sadness when he sees you grieving. Or, at least, these are the thoughts we imagine our pup having when he looks our way with his head cocked just so.

Soon, however, we’ll be able to know what dogs are really thinking. Is it love, or is it the love of food that bonds our dogs to us?

Scientists at Emory University recently proved that it’s possible to perform an MRI on a non-sedated canine and the next step is (you guessed it) – what, exactly, lies behind those big, brown puppy-dog eyes.


Do dogs know what we’re thinking? How about what we’re feeling? What would you want to know about your pet’s thoughts?


Prof. Greg Berns, professor of neuro-economics and lead researcher of the Dog Project at Emory University

Michael Chill, dog trainer and behavior specialist

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