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What it's like to be a dog : and other adventures in animal neuroscience.

By: Berns, Gregory.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Oneworld, 2018Description: 301 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1786074656; 9781786074652.Other title: What its like to be a dog.Subject(s): Cognition in animals | Psychology, Comparative | Dogs -- Nervous system | Animals -- Psychological aspectsSummary: Neuroscientist Berns and his team taught dogs to go into an MRI scanner--completely awake. They discovered what makes dogs individuals with varying capacities for self-control, different value systems, and a complex understanding of human speech. Here Berns explores the fascinating inner lives of wild animals from dolphins and sea lions to the extinct Tasmanian tiger. The team's findings will fundamentally reshape how we think about--and treat--animals.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

What is it like to be a dog' A bat' Or a dolphin' To find out, neuroscientist Gregory Berns and his team began with a radical step- they taught dogs to go into an MRI scanner-completely awake. They discovered what makes dogs individuals with varying capacities for self-control, different value systems, and a complex understanding of human speech. And dogs were just the beginning. In What It 's Like to Be a Dog, Berns explores the fascinating inner lives of wild animals from dolphins and sea lions to the extinct Tasmanian tiger. The new way of understanding animals that he is opening up will revolutionize how we communicate and treat our furry, and not-so-furry, friends. Groundbreaking and deeply humane, this is essential reading for animal lovers of all stripes.

First published in the United States in 2017.

Neuroscientist Berns and his team taught dogs to go into an MRI scanner--completely awake. They discovered what makes dogs individuals with varying capacities for self-control, different value systems, and a complex understanding of human speech. Here Berns explores the fascinating inner lives of wild animals from dolphins and sea lions to the extinct Tasmanian tiger. The team's findings will fundamentally reshape how we think about--and treat--animals.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Booklist Review

For How Dogs Love Us (2013), Emory University professor Berns drew on extensive studies in which the canine brain was examined with MRI technology to pinpoint the neurological foundation of dogs' attachment to humans. In this sequel of sorts, Berns mines the same rich vein of MRI-based data to explore the seemingly unanswerable puzzle of what it actually feels like to be an animal, with dogs as his first furry subjects. Defying a long-standing philosophical belief that one can't possibly fathom the internal experiences of nonhuman creatures without somehow stepping inside their minds, Berns used the latest functional MRI equipment, which takes moving pictures of brainwave activity in the presence of smells or commands, to map the similarities between human and animal cognition. Berns also peeks into the gray matter of dolphins, sea lions, and Tasmanian devils, bolstering his contention that both four-footed and sea-dwelling mammals think and feel much as we do, a sentiment animal lovers and fans of books by Jane Goodall, E. O. Wilson, and Jeffrey Moussaieff Mason will heartily embrace.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2017 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Berns (Neuroeconomics/Emory Univ.; How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, 2013, etc.) reveals how his training to be a doctor shaped his life in unexpected ways.The author was using MRI to study the processes involved in decision-making when the death of a beloved dog led him to ponder the human-dog relationship. After viewing photographs of the capture of Osama bin Laden in which dogs were jumping from helicopters under chaotic conditions, the author believed if he could train a dog to enter an MRI machine voluntarily, he could compare the functioning of human and dog brains. One of his motives was to refute the rationale that dogs are unaware of their own suffering, a view that was used to justify the medical school practice of dissecting them without anesthesia while still alive. Dogs (and other animals) can be conditioned to respond to hand signals or spoken words, but Berns asks, to what extent do they understand that these signals are intended to convey a meaningful message? A first step in the investigation involved figuring out if dogs share "the same basic structures for emotion" as humans. "Animals can represent and communicate knowledge in nonverbal ways," but more is involved than just the structures. The connectivity between regions of the brain is also a determining factor in the level of consciousness and self-awareness of animals. By providing the "roadmap for the level of consciousness that is possible," animals as diverse as dogs, apes, and whales can understand spoken commands and hand signals. As pet lovers already know, such experiments confirm that dogs also recognize and respond to body language that indicates the emotional states of other dogs and humans. The author explains that his purpose in writing this book is "to raise awareness of the mental lives of the animals with whom we share the planet." In that, he succeeds. An impressive overview of modern neurology and the still-unanswered issues raised by our treatment of our fellow living creatures. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.