Functional Characterization of the Dog Auditory Cortex - A Meta Analysis

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24th Conference of the Hungarian Ethological Society, Budapest, Hungary, 25 - 27 November 2022, pp.63

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Budapest
  • Country: Hungary
  • Page Numbers: pp.63
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


fMRI provides a window into brain function by localizing task‐related neural activity. Its comparative application allows the tracking of evolutionary changes in the brain. To study voice and speech perception, the dog is an excellent model, because of its shared social environment with and evolutionary distance from humans. Non‐invasive, awake dog fMRI has been carried out at the ELTE Department of Ethology since 2009, amounting to a large dataset of auditory studies often carried out on the same dogs. We carried out a meta‐analysis of this large dataset to test the intersubjective and inter‐study consistency of auditory brain responses. Including the effects of factors such as age, cephalic index, training, and functional asymmetry, our results may inform veterinary practitioners in their clinical diagnosis. We have collected 153 runs from 44 dogs in 10 studies. Many different stimuli were used in these studies: human vocalizations ‐ dog vocalizations, praising intonation ‐ neutral intonation, high‐frequency words ‐ low‐frequency words, reading books in different languages, meaningful words ‐ meaningless words, familiar person’s speech ‐ unfamiliar persons’ speech for dogs. We used the all auditory stimuli versus silence contrast to define the locus of the primary auditory cortex and to compare auditory cortical activation peak coordinates and intensities per hemisphere, subject, and study. For activation intensity, we expect low hemispheric asymmetry. For activation peak coordinates, we expect low within‐subject variability across studies, but high between‐subject variability. These analyses will be presented during the conference