Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wag the Dog
I've been trying to determine whether or not Arthur has an "asymmetrical response to different emotive stimuli" - that tail-waggin phenomenon described in a recent study by a neuroscientist and a couple of vets in Italy, and published in the March issue of science journal Current Biology. Basically, what the study found was that, like humans, each half of a dog's brain affects the opposite side of its body, and that since left brain=positive emotions and right brain=negative emotions (in an I-didn't-study-psychology-in-college nutshell), the muscles on each side of a dog's tail will direct a dog's wag based on the emotions the dog may be feeling. Got it?
Right emphasis wag = happiness. Left emphasis wag = anxiety.
The experiment I conducted on Arthur went something like this:
top photo: The Center for Neuroscience/University of Trieste