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Man and dog: Closer than thought?

Thursday November 27th 2014

It's long been said that man's best friend is his dog.

And now new research suggests that humans and canines have even more in common than we thought.

Researchers at the University of Sussex say they've found that both species have dedicated voice areas in the same parts of their brains and react in similar ways to speech.

The research team looked at which side of the brain was used by dogs to process commands from their owners.

They found that emotional cues were processed by the right side of the brain - as they are in humans - while the meaningful parts of word were dealt with by the left side.

Dr David Reby says the findings suggest that dogs use separate hemispheres of the brain to process different speech components in a way that is very similar to humans.

The researchers say the similarities could be down to dogs evolving to react to people's vocal signals during domestication.

The study has been published in the Current Biology journal.

Copyright Press Association 2014