New research gives new prominence to the theory that human beings, reproducing in a highly selective way certain behaviors of dogs and promoting the birth and survival of those specimens best suited to their needs, have literally shaped the brain of these animals.
The study was conducted by the researcher Erin Hecht and her colleagues who performed magnetic resonance scans of the brains of 30 breeds of dogs. In addition to confirming large variations in the brain structure of these dogs, the researchers found that the differences were not only related to body size or head shape.
They then created maps of six brain networks each with different functions ranging from social bonding to movement and each associated with at least one behavioral characteristic.
According to the same researchers, studying and understanding the neuroanatomic changes caused by evolution in dogs offers a unique opportunity to understand the relationship between brain structure and behavior.
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