在过去几年中，人类对小狗认知的理解最大的进步之一就是使用MRI机器扫描狗脑。 MRI代表磁共振成像，这是一个持续描绘大脑的哪些部分通过什么外部刺激照亮的过程。正如任何小狗的父母所知，狗是高度可训练的。这种可训练的性质使得狗成为MRI机器的理想选择，不像鸟类或熊类等非驯养的野生动物。专注于狗认知的雀巢普瑞纳科学家Ragen McGowan充分利用某种类型的MRI机器fMRI（代表功能性MRI）来研究这些动物。这些机器检测血流量的变化，并用它来测量大脑活动。通过不断的研究，McGowan已经发现了很多关于动物认知和感受的知识。在2015年进行的一项研究中，McGowan发现人的存在导致狗的眼睛，耳朵和爪子的血流量增加，这意味着狗很兴奋。 McGowan还研究了狗被宠物时会发生什么。我们早就知道，对于人类来说，抚摸心爱的动物可以降低压力和焦虑的速度。嗯，事实证明狗也是如此。当人类宠物庇护狗15分钟或更长时间时，狗的心率会降低，整体而言会变得不那么焦虑。最近关于狗认知的另一项研究发现，我们心爱的伴侣动物可以分辨出我们情绪表达的差异。在使用fMRI机器进行的另一项研究中，科学家们发现，不仅狗可以区分快乐和悲伤的人脸，他们对这些人的反应也不同。
One of the biggest advances in human understanding of puppy cognition over the past few years has been the use of MRI machines to scan dog brains. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a process that continuously depicts which parts of the brain are illuminated by what external stimuli. As the parents of any puppy know, dogs are highly trainable. This trainable nature makes dogs ideal for MRI machines, unlike non-domestic wild animals such as birds or bears. Nestlé Purina scientist Ragen McGowan, who specializes in dog cognition, uses some type of MRI machine fMRI (representative functional MRI) to study these animals. These machines detect changes in blood flow and use it to measure brain activity. Through continuous research, McGowan has discovered a lot of knowledge about animal cognition and feeling. In a study conducted in 2015, McGowan discovered that the presence of humans caused an increase in blood flow to the dog’s eyes, ears and claws, which meant the dog was very excited. McGowan also studied what happens when a dog is pet. We have long known that for humans, stroking beloved animals can reduce the speed of stress and anxiety. Well, it turns out that dogs are the same. When a human pet is sheltered for 15 minutes or more, the dog’s heart rate will decrease and overall it will become less anxious. Another recent study of dog cognition found that our beloved companion animals can tell the difference in our emotional expression. In another study using the fMRI machine, the scientists found that not only dogs can distinguish between happy and sad faces, but they also react differently to these people.