Nova: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses

Nova: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses

Wednesday, April 16 at 9:00 p.m.

How has the evolution of the dog—from its wolf ancestors—reshaped its brain? 

The senses define our experience of the world—they shape our minds, and help make us what we are. Humans rely on smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound, but other animals have super-powered versions of these senses. Researcher Kathryn Lord from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst/Gettysburg College, has reared a group of wolves from birth to see how they interpret visual information and how it contrasts with dogs. She discovers that the process of domestication on dogs may have given dogs greater flexibility to rely on all of their senses, while wolves are evolutionarily hardwired to use their sense of smell above all other senses.

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