A scientist in Hungary, who have published a groundbreaking study that found dogs understand both the meaning of words and the intonation used to speak them, the The Washington Post reports.
The scientist trained 13 canines to climb inside of MRI machines and sit still while the researchers spoke to them. The researchers spoke to the dogs using a variety of words and intonations – some positive words with positive intonation, some gibberish words with intonation, and some positive word with no inflection at all.
They found that the canines’ left hemisphere picked up on the meaning of the words, regardless of the intonation match,” the study’s head, Attila Andics, wrote in a statement.
“So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”
Cats on the other hand might also be able to understand words and tone. But given that cats were domesticated thousands of years later and have generally lived less closely to humans, they might not be as adept as dogs. They certainly wouldn’t be as cooperative on an MRI scanner.