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How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind.

HOW DOGS THINK: Understanding the Canine Mind STANLEY COREN

Coren is a professor of human psychology but has long been recognized as a leader in the effort to determine how animals, specifically dogs, think and relate to each other and to people. According to Coren, dogs have the mentality of a 2-year-old child even though dogs and kids perceive the world differently. He reviews research that illustrates the similarities between a dog's brain and a person: The neurons have the same chemical composition in both, the patterns of electrical activity are identical, and the areas that control functions such as vision and hearing are located in the same places. On the other hand, such dedicated brain regions vary in size. For instance, the area for smell is 40 times as large in a dog's brain as it is in a person's. Coren elaborates on how dogs' senses work and vary from people's. He considers why, for example, dogs hate the sound of a vacuum cleaner and what smells they pick up at the base of a fire hydrant. He also assesses how dogs' senses affect their behavior. From there, the author considers the role that breeding has played in shaping certain behaviors. Support for these conclusions has come from the dog-genuine project, Coren claims. The author also presents a wealth of anecdotal evidence. Free Pr, 2004, 351 p., flardcover, $26.00.
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Title Annotation:Books: a selection of new and notable books of scientific interest
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 20, 2004
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