Domestic dogs are highly social and have been shown to be sensitive not only to the actions of humans and other dogs but to the interactions between them. We used the C-BARQ scale to estimate dogs’ aggressiveness, and we used noninvasive brain imaging (fMRI) to measure activity in their amygdala (an area involved in aggression). More aggressive dogs had more amygdala activation data while watching their caregiver give food to a realistic fake dog than when they put the food in a bucket. This may have some similarity to human jealousy, adding to a growing body of evidence that differences in specific brain activities correlate with differences in canine temperament. The amygdala response habituates when an interaction is observed repeatedly, suggesting that repeated exposures may be a useful behavioral intervention with potentially aggressive dogs.
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