The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?
After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question - use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.
With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns’s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.
How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.
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“This book’s abundant appeal and value come from following Berns through the challenges of constructing the experiment and especially of training his dog to participate. ‘Like a catcher and pitcher,’ he writes, he and his dog ‘became a team.’ The satisfaction of that relationship perhaps explains why our two species have lived together so long and happily.” (The Boston Globe)
"A neuroscientist wonders what goes on in the minds of our pet dogs: Do we delude ourselves when we believe that they love us? [How Dogs Love Us is] a solid introduction to an appealing new area of research." (Kirkus)
"The book is as much a scientific exploration of how the canine brain might function as it is a deeply personal story about Berns's relationship with dogs as pets and colleagues. Ultimately that connection is what makes the book compelling." (Scientific American MIND)
I love dog stories, but I expected some science from the title, and frankly I still don't know "how dogs love us". The majority of the book was how they got the dogs to go into the scanner.
there is a lot of information about how they did the study but to get to the meat of the story you had to get to chapter 20...seems too long to wait to get to the point to me.
I am at chapter 9 of the book and we have yet to get to any actual findings. The details of the academic legal bureaucracy are not interesting. Somehow I suspect the publisher encouraged this buildup, but I just want to skip ahead to the science or findings that I hope will materialize. If this were a real book, I would have skipped ahead and be done by now.
Cut out a significant level of detail.
Yes. I could see this happening, but I wouldn't advise anyone to be in it.
The extremely poor overdubbing of one of the author's dogs' name is distracting and annoying.
The reality of research spending a lot of time thinking you are making head way to answer your hypothesis, so you push to get the answer only to find that answer elusive. For me this book was disappointing, having had a career in clincal medicine research, I could appreciate the work, however, the title is misleading. This is dry clincical read. Too much like reading articles in medical journals. Entertaining it was not.
This book spent all its time explaining how they were able to get a dog's head into an MRI scanner, but I never learned how dogs love us. I gave up on listening 1/2 way through this book because it was filled with information about operating an MRI, but did not address the issue of how dogs love us
Kathleen in FL
The book never told us how dogs love us. It explained over and over how awake dogs were used to map the canine brain.
He wrote the book he set out to write. The title does not explain what the book is about.
I want authors to be clear about their intentions and subject matter.
I love the passion the author has for his dogs and the passion for science. Only true dog people, not to be mistaken with dog owners, would understand why he did what he did.
As a RN with 5 years of Neurology experience, it was easy. I am sure that if you know nothing about radiology or neuroscience, it will be a little hard to follow.
I know that because my husband was a little (a lot) lost.
Kelly chasing the ducks by the river and when she cuddled with the author (awwwww).
I would not make a film about this book. Unless the movie was for Vet, Radiology or Neuroscience students.
If you are not into medical terminology and scientific studies, skip to chapter 23. Before that, the content is 90% study. VERY INTERESTING but, if you are looking for a mushy confy book, skip to chapter 24.
This book totally lacked substance. Misleading in title and description. The majority of the weak story was about preparing for and testing. After hours of listening it sounded as if the story was finally getting to the topic expected and there was less than 20 minutes left of the book. Very disappointing.
As a dog person who recently lost a longtime companion (RIP, Bailey!) and soon thereafter got another Irish Setter puppy (shoutout to Emma!), I enjoyed the mix of science and storytelling in this book. Often listened while on long walks with Emma trying to wear her out and watching her explore the world, people and other dogs around us. The book helped me consider what might be going through her mind at any point in time.
I bought this book to learn 'how dogs love us' and still feel this was left very much unanswered. It should have another title, such as 'The history of me -- a scientist -- and how I came to eventually do MRIs on some dogs -- the blow-by-blow account, including weather reports' or 'How scientists can digress to meet a word count target'.
There are twenty-odd chapters of the hows, whys, whens, wheres, whats, whos and the final couple of chapters touch on what may be results of the tests.
It could be of interest to anyone wanting to understand MRI imaging or a nosey acquaintance wanting to get a glimpse of the author's personal relationships with family/dogs, but if you want to know how dogs love us, you won't find too many answers here.
I would not buy a book by this author again.
The narrator did a great job. His voice was easy to listen to and not the kind that makes your mind switch off (like some others can).
Anger, frustration, wasted my money.
Author seems like a nice person which is why this is getting two stars instead of one.
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