Voice-sensitive regions in the dog and human brain are revealed by comparative fMRI

Attila Andics, Márta Gácsi, Tamás Faragó, Anna Kis, Ádám Miklósi

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89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summary During the approximately 18-32 thousand years of domestication [1], dogs and humans have shared a similar social environment [2]. Dog and human vocalizations are thus familiar and relevant to both species [3], although they belong to evolutionarily distant taxa, as their lineages split approximately 90-100 million years ago [4]. In this first comparative neuroimaging study of a nonprimate and a primate species, we made use of this special combination of shared environment and evolutionary distance. We presented dogs and humans with the same set of vocal and nonvocal stimuli to search for functionally analogous voice-sensitive cortical regions. We demonstrate that voice areas exist in dogs and that they show a similar pattern to anterior temporal voice areas in humans. Our findings also reveal that sensitivity to vocal emotional valence cues engages similarly located nonprimary auditory regions in dogs and humans. Although parallel evolution cannot be excluded, our findings suggest that voice areas may have a more ancient evolutionary origin than previously known. Video Abstract

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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