Do you see what I see? The difference between dog and human visual perception may affect the outcome of experiments

Péter Pongrácz, Vera Ujvári, Tamás Faragó, A. Miklósi, András Péter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The visual sense of dogs is in many aspects different than that of humans. Unfortunately, authors do not explicitly take into consideration dog-human differences in visual perception when designing their experiments. With an image manipulation program we altered stationary images, according to the present knowledge about dog-vision. Besides the effect of dogs’ dichromatic vision, the software shows the effect of the lower visual acuity and brightness discrimination, too. Fifty adult humans were tested with pictures showing a female experimenter pointing, gazing or glancing to the left or right side. Half of the pictures were shown after they were altered to a setting that approximated dog vision. Participants had difficulty to find out the direction of glancing when the pictures were in dog-vision mode. Glances in dog-vision setting were followed less correctly and with a slower response time than other cues. Our results are the first that show the visual performance of humans under circumstances that model how dogs’ weaker vision would affect their responses in an ethological experiment. We urge researchers to take into consideration the differences between perceptual abilities of dogs and humans, by developing visual stimuli that fit more appropriately to dogs’ visual capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Processes
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017



  • Dog
  • Ethology
  • Human
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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