• Costa Rica Real Estate Auction
  • Costa Rica Real Estate

Dogs may have evolved to handle our bad tempers

January 29, 2016

Man’s best friend has a clear strategy for dealing with angry owners — look away.

New research shows that dogs limit their eye contact with angry humans, even as they tend to stare down upset canines. The scientists suggest this may be an attempt to appease humans, that evolved as dogs were domesticated and benefited from avoiding conflicts with humans.

To conduct the tests the University of Helsinki researchers trained 31 dogs to rest in front of a video screen. Facial photos — showing threatening, pleasant and neutral expressions — were displayed on the screen for 1.5 seconds. Nearby cameras tracked the dogs’ eye movements.

Dogs in the study looked most at the eyes of humans and other dogs to sense their emotions. When dogs looked at expressions of angry canines, they lingered more on the mouth, perhaps to interpret the threatening expressions. And when looking at angry humans they tended to avert their gaze. Dogs may have learned to detect threat signs from humans and respond in an appeasing manner, according to researcher Sanni Somppi. Avoiding conflicts may have helped dogs — which are the most popular pet in the United States — develop better bonds with humans.

The researchers also note that dogs scan faces holistically to sense how people are feeling, instead of focusing on a given feature. They suggest this indicates that dogs aren’t sensing emotions from a single feature, but piecing together information from all facial features just as humans do.

The findings were published in the scientific journal PlosOne.

© 2016, The Washington Post

You may be interested

FIFA president says Costa Rica could host World Cup, vows ‘never again’ to corruption scandals in soccer
Costa Rica
24 views
Costa Rica
24 views

FIFA president says Costa Rica could host World Cup, vows ‘never again’ to corruption scandals in soccer

AFP and The Tico Times - November 19, 2019

FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Tuesday called on world football to "never again" return to the corruption scandals that shook…

Pura Vida in Costa Rica: Part 2 of 3
Travel & Tourism
77 views
Travel & Tourism
77 views

Pura Vida in Costa Rica: Part 2 of 3

Ed Boitano / Travel Boy - November 19, 2019

Travel writer Ed Boitano recently spent some time in Costa Rica. He chronicled his experiences at the publication Travel Boy. …

Costa Rica turns to telemedicine for patients in rural areas
Costa Rica
43 views
Costa Rica
43 views

Costa Rica turns to telemedicine for patients in rural areas

Alejandro Zúñiga - November 19, 2019

Trauma patients in Costa Rica can now receive care from the country's specialized doctors in San José — even if…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!