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A new study shows that dogs can ‘see’ with their noses. World News


A new study shows that dogs can use their highly sensitive noses to ‘see’ as well as smell.

A team of veterinarians, including Dr Philippa Johnson from Cornell University in New York, have discovered that sight and smell are indeed connected in the dog’s brain – something that has not been found in any other animal. any other species.

The team conducted MRI scans on a number of different dogs and successfully mapped the sense of smell (the part of the brain that processes odors) with the occipital lobe (the visual processing area of ​​the brain), shedding light on how they experience their senses. experiment and navigate. world.

It revealed an “extended pathway” that connects with the occipital lobe but also with the limbic system, the part of the brain involved in behavioral and emotional responses.

Dogs may be using their very sensitive noses to & # 39;  see & # 39;  as well as smell, a new study published by the Journal of Neuroscience suggests.  Photo: Claire Bates

Findings published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggest that smell and vision in dogs are therefore integrated in some way – implying that they can use scent to locate things. .

Dr Johnson told Sky News that when people walk into a room, they mainly use their vision to determine who is there or where the furniture is. But dog seem to integrate scent into their interpretation of their environment and how they are oriented within it.

Dogs may be using their very sensitive noses to & # 39;  see & # 39;  as well as smell, a new study published by the Journal of Neuroscience suggests.  Photo: Claire Bates

She added: “One of the ophthalmologists at the hospital here said that he has his dog’s owners brought in regularly, and when he checked their eyesight, they were completely blind – but the owners really did. would not believe him.

“The blind dogs work perfectly fine. They can play head-to-head. They can navigate around their environment and don’t bump into things.

“Knowing that there is an information highway that goes between those two areas can be of great comfort to owners of dogs with incurable eye diseases.”

“We’ve never seen this connection between the nose and the occipital lobe, which is functionally the visual cortex in dogs, in any species,” said Dr. Johnson, assistant professor of clinical science at Cornell. , and the report’s senior author.

During their research, the team also found connections where the dog’s brain processes memory and emotions, similar to those found in humans.



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