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:
"Hey, Arthur! Want to go for a walk?"

"Hey, Arthur! Is it time for a bath?"

I am highly susceptible to the power of suggestion, but I do think the study proved true. Whether or not Arthur now thinks I'm mentally unstable remains to be seen.

top photo: The Center for Neuroscience/University of Trieste

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