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How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain Hardcover – October 22, 2013
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“This book’s abundant appeal and value come from following Berns through the challenges of constructing the experiment and especially of training his dog to participate. ‘Like a catcher and pitcher,’ he writes, he and his dog ‘became a team.’ The satisfaction of that relationship perhaps explains why our two species have lived together so long and happily.” —The Boston Globe
"A neuroscientist wonders what goes on in the minds of our pet dogs: Do we delude ourselves when we believe that they love us? [How Dogs Love Us is] a solid introduction to an appealing new area of research." —Kirkus
"The book is as much a scientific exploration of how the canine brain might function as it is a deeply personal story about Berns's relationship with dogs as pets and colleagues. Ultimately that connection is what makes the book compelling." —Scientific American MIND
“Thoroughly enjoyable and edifying…Five out of five stars…highly recommended.” —Your Dog
"In the fascinating book How Dogs Love Us, [Berns] recounts the methods his team employed, and how their pet dogs made these groundbreaking studies possible. There’s much to learn in this engrossing read." —Bark Magazine
“Neuroscientist Gregory Berns studies dog brains to answer that eternal question: Do our dogs really love us?” —Men’s Journal
"How Dogs Love Us is a fascinating account of a scientist's tenacious pursuit of the unknown. Gregory Berns's account of his lab's Dog Project provides readers with new insights into the minds of our most loyal companions while also reminding us that scientific research should be approached with passion, love, and a bold disregard for the possibility of failure." —Dan Ariely, author of The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty
"An exciting journey to the center of a dog's emotional mind. Berns offers hilarious descriptions of training his dog to lie still while being fed hot dogs in the MRI brain-scan machine." —Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
"With infectious passion for dogs, science, life, and love, Gregory Berns takes us on a rollicking yet scientifically serious study of the mental life of dogs-what dogs understand and how they think. Berns's tale is a dramatic but very funny look at how real, grubby science can accomplish great things. This is dognitive science at its insightful, passionate, and playful best." —Patricia Churchland, author of Touching a Nerve
"How Dogs Love Us is the beautifully written story of an iconoclastic neuroscientist challenging the status quo and seeking to truly understand the dogs with whom we share our lives." —Jennifer Arnold, author of Through a Dog's Eyes
"Amazingly entertaining and super smart. In How Dogs Love Us, Gregory Berns gives us our first real look inside the brain of a dog, while simultaneously setting new standards in ethical science. A truly great read!" —Steven Kotler, author of A Small Furry Prayer
"Gregory Berns's book, packed with solid scientific research and warm personal stories, will set the agenda for future research on the minds and emotional lives of animals." —Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals
"Fast, fun, and funny, Gregory Berns demonstrates scientifically that dogs are people, too." —Laurence Gonzales, author of Surviving Survival
"Gregory Berns's amusing story about his dogs, his daughters, and a giant magnet communicates as no other what fun science can be." —Frans de Waal, author of The Bonobo and the Atheist
"This book lets you see inside the mind of a dog as never before. How Dogs Love Us will revolutionize how we understand animals—especially our dogs. This is a must-read for animal lovers and neuroscientists alike."—Brian Hare, author of The Genius of Dogs
“Berns is an excellent writer. His explanations of the scientific thinking behind the Dog Project (as he calls his experiment) are crisp and clear and accessible to a nonscientist without being condescending…Some of the best parts of How Dogs Love Us, though, are about the questions, not the answers. In his account of the slow, meticulous, day-to-day process of creating a scientific study, Berns has produced one of the best accounts of how science is "done."” —Chicago Reader
"How Dogs Love Us makes a thought-provoking and often humorous case for something canine lovers have suspected for years: dogs are not simply 'Pavlovian learning machines' but, rather, sentient beings with a high level of empathy and an affinity for social learning. In answering his original question, he sparks many more about how we value and care for our canine companions." -Kirsten Galles, Shelf Awareness
“Berns’s book is a beautiful story about dogs, love and neurology that shows how nonhuman relationships are inspiring researches to look at animals in new ways, for their benefit and ours.” —Rebecca Skloot, New York Times Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
It's been three months since that day and I have prayed every day that he truly knew how much he meant to me.
Gregory Berns' recount of the Dog Project has given me great insight into the whole love affair I had with Jackson, and has assured me that all those moments of eye contact and caressing were truly reciprocal. The work is a great discussion of how it 'happens' with humans and their pets, especially dogs. There were times during the reading that I wanted less discussion of the science of fMRI and wanted to get to the real answer of my question, "Did Jackson love me?" In the end, however, even though it is a lengthy discussion of how the whole MRI process works and how it is applied scientifically, it was an 'easy to read and consider' recap, and it made perfect sense why the discussion was necessary.
If you love a dog, read this book and find out how to glean even more of the euphoria you experience when the love from him or her begins to show. You are not crazy. You are not imagining it. You can make it even bigger and better if you understand "why."
I thought never to have another dog. How could I surpass this past perfection? Now, I'm not so sure. What if I could do it again and make it better? I wept again in my grief. Now I rejoice in the respect and love that Berns and his family share with their pets and appreciate all the efforts, care and concern the team displayed in the whole project process.
Thanks for telling me.
His book is filled with fairly complex scientific concepts but it is written beautifully and clearly. It is very easy to understand and, like a good adventure novel, pulls readers along with foreshadowing and suspense. I disagree with the reviewer who said the book is written "backwards." I really wanted to know how the idea developed, how the training was done, all the background stuff in the early chapters.
I love that Berns is not an especially savvy dog person, at least at the beginning of the Dog Project, as he calls it. That makes it all the more sweet when he recognizes how hard dogs try to communicate with and understand humans. I have enormous respect for Berns and his team's commitment to ensuring that the dogs were willing, even eager, participants in every step. I especially enjoyed the long discussion of the ethical issues he faced in setting up the research and the insistence of all the human researchers that the dogs would always be free to opt out, at any time.
This book is a testament to what amazing things can be accomplished when humans acknowledge their dogs' abilities, treat them as partners (rather than as property or as slaves) and engage with them in a respectful, positive manner.
This should be required reading for ALL dog lovers. It will be required reading for all of my students at Bergin U, the only place to study the dog-human relationship at the college level.
This book proves what most dog owners have said for a long time. It is a fantastic book to read without to much technological jargon but it has enough, after all this was a scientific experiment. I would highly recommend this.book to all. The information it contains is very informative and well written. Try it, you won't be sorry especially if you are a dog person.
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