Visual event-related potentials of dogs: a non-invasive electroencephalography study

Heini Törnqvist, Miiamaaria V. Kujala, Sanni Somppi, Laura Hänninen, Matti Pastell, Christina M. Krause, Jan Kujala, Outi Vainio

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Previously, social and cognitive abilities of dogs have been studied within behavioral experiments, but the neural processing underlying the cognitive events remains to be clarified. Here, we employed completely non-invasive scalp-electroencephalography in studying the neural correlates of the visual cognition of dogs. We measured visual event-related potentials (ERPs) of eight dogs while they observed images of dog and human faces presented on a computer screen. The dogs were trained to lie still with positive operant conditioning, and they were neither mechanically restrained nor sedated during the measurements. The ERPs corresponding to early visual processing of dogs were detectable at 75–100 ms from the stimulus onset in individual dogs, and the group-level data of the 8 dogs differed significantly from zero bilaterally at around 75 ms at the most posterior sensors. Additionally, we detected differences between the responses to human and dog faces in the posterior sensors at 75–100 ms and in the anterior sensors at 350–400 ms. To our knowledge, this is the first illustration of completely non-invasively mea- sured visual brain responses both in individual dogs and within a group-level study, using ecologically valid visual stimuli. The results of the present study validate the fea- sibility of non-invasive ERP measurements in studies with dogs, and the study is expected to pave the way for further neurocognitive studies in dogs.
TidskriftAnimal Cognition
Sidor (från-till)973-982
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - 10 apr 2013
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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