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Dogs can sense weak thermal radiation

Bálint, Anna LU ; Andics, Attila ; Gácsi, Márta ; Gábor, Anna ; Czeibert, Kálmán ; Luce, Chelsey M. LU ; Miklósi, Ádám and Kröger, Ronald H.H. LU (2020) In Scientific Reports 10(1).
Abstract

The dog rhinarium (naked and often moist skin on the nose-tip) is prominent and richly innervated, suggesting a sensory function. Compared to nose-tips of herbivorous artio- and perissodactyla, carnivoran rhinaria are considerably colder. We hypothesized that this coldness makes the dog rhinarium particularly sensitive to radiating heat. We trained three dogs to distinguish between two distant objects based on radiating heat; the neutral object was about ambient temperature, the warm object was about the same surface temperature as a furry mammal. In addition, we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging on 13 awake dogs, comparing the responses to heat stimuli of about the same temperatures as in the behavioural experiment. The... (More)

The dog rhinarium (naked and often moist skin on the nose-tip) is prominent and richly innervated, suggesting a sensory function. Compared to nose-tips of herbivorous artio- and perissodactyla, carnivoran rhinaria are considerably colder. We hypothesized that this coldness makes the dog rhinarium particularly sensitive to radiating heat. We trained three dogs to distinguish between two distant objects based on radiating heat; the neutral object was about ambient temperature, the warm object was about the same surface temperature as a furry mammal. In addition, we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging on 13 awake dogs, comparing the responses to heat stimuli of about the same temperatures as in the behavioural experiment. The warm stimulus elicited increased neural response in the left somatosensory association cortex. Our results demonstrate a hitherto undiscovered sensory modality in a carnivoran species.

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author
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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Scientific Reports
volume
10
issue
1
article number
3736
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • pmid:32111902
  • scopus:85080987502
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-020-60439-y
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
328ce1ae-93ba-4621-89d1-30bec549aee7
date added to LUP
2020-03-17 10:04:33
date last changed
2020-10-13 13:47:23
@article{328ce1ae-93ba-4621-89d1-30bec549aee7,
  abstract     = {<p>The dog rhinarium (naked and often moist skin on the nose-tip) is prominent and richly innervated, suggesting a sensory function. Compared to nose-tips of herbivorous artio- and perissodactyla, carnivoran rhinaria are considerably colder. We hypothesized that this coldness makes the dog rhinarium particularly sensitive to radiating heat. We trained three dogs to distinguish between two distant objects based on radiating heat; the neutral object was about ambient temperature, the warm object was about the same surface temperature as a furry mammal. In addition, we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging on 13 awake dogs, comparing the responses to heat stimuli of about the same temperatures as in the behavioural experiment. The warm stimulus elicited increased neural response in the left somatosensory association cortex. Our results demonstrate a hitherto undiscovered sensory modality in a carnivoran species.</p>},
  author       = {Bálint, Anna and Andics, Attila and Gácsi, Márta and Gábor, Anna and Czeibert, Kálmán and Luce, Chelsey M. and Miklósi, Ádám and Kröger, Ronald H.H.},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Scientific Reports},
  title        = {Dogs can sense weak thermal radiation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60439-y},
  doi          = {10.1038/s41598-020-60439-y},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2020},
}