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Dogs view facial expressions like us

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Jan 2016 12:00 AM GMT

London, Jan 20: The social gazing behaviour of domestic dogs resembles that of humans with canines viewing facial expressions systematically, preferring eyes, according to a study. The study by researchers at the University of Helsinki utilised eye gaze tracking to demonstrate how dogs view the emotiol expressions of dog and human faces. Dogs looked first at the eye region and generally examined eyes longer than nose or mouth areas.

Species-specific characteristics of certain expressions attracted researchers’ attention, for example the mouths of threatening dogs. However, dogs appeared to base their perception of facial expressions on the whole face.

Threatening faces evoked attentiol bias, which may be based on an evolutiory adaptive mechanism, the researchers said. “The tolerant behaviour strategy of dogs toward humans may partially explain the results. Domestication may have equipped dogs with a sensitivity to detect the threat sigls of humans and respond them with pronounced appeasement sigls,” said researcher Sanni Somppi. (IANS)

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