Science has long known that people use brainwaves to make sense of what they’re seeing and hearing, and the latest evidence suggests that our brains have a similar mechanism for communicating.
The brain uses “neural activity,” or electrical signals that travel between the brain and the rest of the body, to generate images and other information.
“Neural activity is an incredibly powerful and pervasive phenomenon, that we all rely on at times to make decisions,” says Paul Buss, a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol in the UK.
The researchers who’ve studied the neural mechanisms behind the brain’s ability to form impressions of the world, however, are still struggling to tease out how this neural activity works in practice.
Buss and his colleagues found that, in a trial involving both a human participant and a model dog, they could actually measure how a participant’s brain responded to a dog’s vocalization and to a video clip that showed a dog running.
Buses and his team say that the findings support a model that neural activity could be used to determine whether the dog’s behavior was “advertisable.”
The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by researchers from Bristol, the University and the University at Buffalo.
They also used EEG technology to study the brains of two dogs that had been trained to associate sounds with certain emotions.
For example, the researchers found that dogs that associate the sound of a barking dog with fear react more strongly to the dog.
Dogs that associate a dog barking with joy react less strongly.
In one experiment, the dogs were paired with a “dog who is not happy,” or a “neutral dog.”
In the other experiment, they were paired “dog with happy,” and the dogs’ brains responded to the sounds.
This led the researchers to believe that the dogs had a neural circuit that could “interpret” the dog, Buss told Business Insider.
But the researchers weren’t able to measure whether the dogs recognized the sounds that they heard as happy or sad, because they didn’t have the recordings from the dogs in the laboratory.
They were also unable to measure how the neural circuits in the dogs affected their behavior.
What they did find was that when a dog was presented with a new sound, such as a click or a whiny tone, the brains responded differently.
The scientists used EEG-based functional MRI (fMRI) technology to record the activity in the brains and compare it to that in the dog in a separate experiment.
The results showed that the brain processes the sound differently depending on the stimulus it was presented to, which Buss said was an “important finding.”
It’s the same brain activity that the researchers say can tell us whether a dog is happy or not, Buses said.
It’s an example of how the brain can interpret a sound to produce a different response in different situations, he said.
The study also showed that when the dogs “felt threatened, their brains responded in a different way than those that didn’t,” Buss added.
He explained that when dogs are fearful, their brain’s neural circuits “are wired up in a way that is designed to make the dogs more fearful,” he said, and they respond in a similar way to a click.
This pattern of neural activity also shows that the way that the brains “interpret sounds” is “not limited to how we interpret sounds,” Buses added.
The findings also suggest that the neural pathways that are activated when a sound is presented may be used in different contexts, such that a dog could be “reluctant to hear a vocalized threat” if the sounds are not threatening.
“It’s not about the sound itself,” Buhls said.
“We can predict the sound and the response of the neural circuit, but we don’t have a full picture of the brain when it does that.”
The researchers also showed how the same neural circuits that can be used for perception also affect the brain during other kinds of cognitive tasks.
For instance, they found that the “fearful dog” showed activity in a region of the visual cortex that “was activated when we saw a fearful face, when we had to decide whether to look at that face,” Bums said.
In other words, when the researchers looked at the dog “from the outside,” they could predict that the dog would react the same way as the human participant, and it did.
That also showed a relationship between the two brain areas.
Buhs said that the research also showed “that the neural systems involved in understanding faces are also involved in interpreting faces from the outside.”
“We are finding that our brain can tell whether something is positive or negative,” he added.
“That’s what makes it very interesting.”
Buss also noted that the results of the study showed that people who use visual information to make choices in a world of other people can “have their brains activated when they make decisions” in a “world that is not like our