Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Fido Really Can Recognize Your Face

Fido Really Can Recognize Your Face

01/01/14

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Dogs can recognize the faces of familiar people and canine pals, a new study finds.

The recognition of facial features is a specialized skill previously thought to be unique to people and possibly other primates, the University of Helsinki researchers said.

It's long been known that faces and eye contact play an important role in communication between people and dogs. However, the new study is believed to be the first to use eye movement tracking to investigate the facial recognition ability of dogs.

The eye movements of the dogs in the study were assessed while they were shown photos on a computer screen of people and dogs. These included images of their owners or another dog in the same family, and images of unfamiliar people and dogs.

The dogs scanned the familiar faces more thoroughly than the unfamiliar faces, which indicates that they were able to distinguish between the faces, according to the study published Dec. 5 in the journal Animal Cognition.

"Dogs were trained to lie still during the image presentation and to perform the task independently. Dogs seemed to experience the task [as] rewarding, because they were very eager to participate," study leader Outi Vainio said in a university news release.

The dogs had not been trained to recognize faces, so the findings suggest that they have a natural ability to tell the difference between faces and may have facial recognition skills similar to people, the researchers said.

The study dogs also looked at photos of other dogs longer than photos of people, regardless of whether they knew them or not. This echoes a previous study by the same group of researchers that found that dogs prefer looking at other dogs' faces over people's faces.

More information

The ASPCA has more about dogs.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >