Study: Dogs may be able to ‘see’ with their noses
Dogs could be using their highly sensitive noses to “see” as well as to smellsuggests a new study by a team of veterinarians.
The research, led by Dr. Philippa Johnson of Cornell University in New York, United States, defined that vision and smell are actually connected in the dog brain, something that has yet to be found in any other species.
According to a Sky News report, scientists performed MRIs on several different dogs and successfully mapped the olfactory bulb (the part of the brain that deals with smell) to the occipital lobe (the visual processing area of the brain).
The study revealed a “long pathway” that connected to the occipital lobe, but also to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain involved in behavioral and emotional responses.
Smell and vision, integrated
The findings suggest that smell and vision in dogs are somehow integratedwhich means they can use smell to figure out where things are.
Johnson argued that when humans enter a room, they primarily use their sense of sight to establish who is there or how furniture is arranged. Insteaddogs seem to integrate scent into their interpretation of their environment and how they orient to it.
In addition, the team also found connections where a dog’s brain processes memory and emotion that are similar to those in humans.
The lead author of the study even stated that blind dogs can act normally: “They can play fetch. They can orient themselves in their surroundings and do not bump into things. Blind dogs act completely normal”.
“We have never seen this connection between the nose and the occipital lobe in any species.Johnson added.