A Unique Brain Connection in Dogs

“Beasts of science” is like a collection of stories. Beautiful stories that tell the living in all its newness. But also in all its complexity. A parenthesis to marvel at the riches of the world. For this new episode, once again, let’s go back to the one we’ve become close friends with: the dog.

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If it smells of dirt, it’s a bit annoying. We have to accept it. But when it smells drug, bombs, victims of disasters or even diseases, it is immediately more interesting. And it has long been known, the dog has one stink unique.

If you look closely, it’s not surprising. the mucosa who hides in dog truffle there is a space 50 times larger than we can see nose. It ranges from 200 million to 1 billion sensors stink. For comparison, ours, always nose, does not exceed 5 million!

margin BRAINS, same conclusion. The dog’s olfactory bulb – which understands the region of the brain that processes messages sent by scent sensors – is up to 30 times larger than a human’s. With approximately 40 times more cells dedicated to odor analysis.

And all without mentioning the shocking organ that is veterinarians call the vomeronasal organ. It is placed on the top of the dog’s throat. Connected to the nose by two small canals. Thanks to this, the dog is able to analyze odors with exceptional finesse. Even when the molecules fragrance not legion.

Smell and sight are connected to each other

The dog’s amazing power seems to be no longer a secret to scientists. But that is to forget their boundless curiosity. Because in spite of everything, they remain confused with a dog whosestink seems a million times more efficient than ours. That’s why they use an advanced neuroimaging technique to try to find the pathways that the white matter in the dog’s brain. The white matter is what carries information between areas of the brain. Millions of cables surrounded by a things fat, the myelin.

Twenty dogs participated in the experiment. Dogs are very good sniffers, let’s face it. And what the researchers observed, first of all, connections between the olfactory bulb – located behind the eye of the dog – and of limbic system and the piriform lobe. Here the brain processes memory and emotions. The connections are similar to those found at home. It’s these same connections that immerse us in our childhood in the simple smell of hot chocolate. Not surprisingly, so far. But the researchers also discovered connections they hadn’t expected. Because such connections have never been seen in any other animal species. Not even in person. connections to spinal cord and with the occipital lobe.

The occipital lobe is the region of the brain that processes … visual information! Yes, you read that right. In dogs, smell and vision are connected to the brain. Some scientists believe so. But this time, it has been proven. It also explains how dogs that have become blind are able to orient themselves very well around them. Better than us. Good news for people who are similar in life to a dog. And another sign that we close friend not so stupid!

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