New talk: Neural processes underlying speech perception in the dog brain



Please join us Wednesday, November 8th, 14.30, in 4.01 at the Institute of Psychology for a talk titled: “Neural processes underlying speech perception in the dog brain” by Dr. Marianna Boros (Neuroethology of Communication Lab, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary). The talk will take place on Wednesday, Nov 8th, at 2.30pm in 4.01. Please find the abstract below and the poster here.


Comparative cognitive neuroscience aims to reveal how and when certain neural sensitivities emerged during evolution: what is uniquely human, what is shared across species? When it comes to mechanisms underlying social functions, and specifically speech processing, such questions require comparisons not only to evolutionarily proximal species (primates), but also to socially proximal ones (domestic animals). The human and dog lineages split ~100 mya, but during the ~20,000 years of their domestication dogs have been extensively selected for communication abilities with humans. Nowadays, more than ever, dogs live immersed in the human socio-linguistic environment, being exposed to speech on a daily basis. Due to their cooperativity and trainability, dogs provide an unparalleled case to study brain activity in an awake, attentive, unrestrained non-human mammal. Studying speech processing in dogs thus allows us to track how environmental and genetic factors may shape a mammalian brain during language evolution. In my talk, I will present recent neural evidence for the sophisticated yet limited speech processing abilities of dogs, highlighting similarities and differences from humans in speech segmentation, language representation and word processing.