His latest investigation involves canine cognition and olfaction. We've all experienced the powerful connection between a particular perfume and an emotion. Romance, home, work environments, and foods all involve scents and provoke specific feelings and memories. Berns wanted to examine how a dog thinks when smelling, especially because much of their sensory information is derived from odor. He told Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News: "Since dogs are so much more olfactory than humans, their responses would likely be even more powerful than the ones we might have."
According to the ScienceDirect website, where the study is posted, twelve dogs were used, all trained to remain completely still while undergoing an MRI. As the dogs' brains were scanned, they were presented with five different scent smells:
Because the source of the smell wasn't present during the testing, the study would also demonstrate sensory memory in dogs. The scents were obtained from highly odiferous body parts: the rear and genital areas of the dogs and the armpits of the humans. In addition, according to Viegas, participants were banned from bathing or using deodorant for 24 hours prior to sampling (pretty smelly science).