At least, that’s what researchers who recently did a study on the subject say.
Mexican Laura V. Cuaya from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, who moved to Hungary a few years ago with her dog Kunkun, wanted to know if her pet noticed that he was in a new environment where the we speak a different language.
To investigate, Cuaya and his colleagues played extracts from the story The Little Prince to Kunkun and 17 other dogs. These were fragments in Spanish and Hungarian. They then analyzed the reaction of the dogs’ brains using a scanner.
All dogs had previously heard only one of their owners’ two languages (Hungarian or Spanish), which allowed researchers to compare the dog’s brain reaction to hearing a known and completely unknown language.
By comparing brain activity, the researchers observed different patterns of activity in the secondary auditory cortex, the part that processes sound, of dogs’ brains when they hear a known and unfamiliar language. It also turned out that the older the dogs, the better their brain distinguished between the two languages.
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