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Do Dogs Cry? Maybe.

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314 – November/December, 2022

By Caroline Coile

A study from the Azabu University in Japan found that dogs shed tears associated with positive emotions. The head researcher had noticed that his Standard Poodle’s eyes teared up when she was nursing her puppies, and speculated it could be due to increased levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin is released not only when nursing, but in both dogs and owners when they interact. To test the theory, they measured dogs’ tear volume before and after reuniting with their owners. The tear volume increased when dogs were reunited with a familiar person but not with a stranger. Tear volume also increased when they added oxytocin to the dogs’ eyes. Interestingly, when people were asked to rate pictures of dogs’ faces with and without teary eyes, they gave more positive scores to those with tears, suggesting that increased tear production might help create stronger bonding between people and dogs. Future studies will examine if dogs get teary-eyed when reunited with canine friends, or in sad situations.

Kaori Murata, et al. Increase of tear volume in dogs after reunion with owners is mediated by oxytocin. Current Biology, 2022; 32 (16): R869 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.07.031

Canine Olfactory Neural Pathways Have Extensive Connections to Brain’s Visual Center

Cornell University researchers discovered that dogs’ sense of smell is integrated with their vision and other unique parts of the brain via connections between their olfactory bulb (the part of the brain that interprets smells) and the occipital lobe (where the visual cortex, which interprets visual signals, is located).

The study shows that unlike in humans, dogs make integrated visual and olfactory maps of their environment, which suggests why blind dogs seem to function so well.

The study also found previously undocumented neural connections to the spinal cord and the occipital lobe that are not found in humans.

Erica F. Andrews, et al: Extensive Connections of the Canine Olfactory Pathway Revealed by Tractography and Dissection. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2022; JN-RM-2355-21 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2355-21.2022

Modern Patagonian Sheepdogs Are the Closest Living Representatives of UK Herding Breeds.

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314 – November/December, 2022

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Posted by on Nov 24 2022. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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