Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

PLoS ONE 7(5): e38027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038027

7 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2012 Last revised: 21 May 2012

Gregory Berns

Emory University

Andrew Brooks

Emory University

Mark H Spivak

Dog Star Technologies

Date Written: April 27, 2012

Abstract

Because of dogs’ prolonged evolution with humans, many of the canine cognitive skills are thought to represent a selection of traits that make dogs particularly sensitive to human cues. But how does the dog mind dog actually work? To develop a methodology to answer this question, we trained two dogs to remain motionless for the duration required to collect quality fMRI images by using positive reinforcement without sedation or physical restraints. The task was designed to determine which brain circuits differentially respond to human hand signals denoting the presence or absence of a food reward. Head motion within trials was less than 1 mm. Consistent with prior reinforcement learning literature, we observed caudate activation in both dogs in response to the hand signal denoting reward versus no-reward.

Keywords: fMRI, dogs, reward, canine

Suggested Citation

Berns, Gregory and Brooks, Andrew and Spivak, Mark H, Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs (April 27, 2012). PLoS ONE 7(5): e38027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038027. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2047085 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2047085

Gregory Berns (Contact Author)

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Andrew Brooks

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Mark Spivak

Dog Star Technologies ( email )

6600 Roswell Road
Suite K-2
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,932
Rank
5,571
Abstract Views
12,344