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New Scientific Report
Researchers have made the startling discovery that dogs have the ability to "see" with their noses. The Journal of Neuroscience is where you may get such information.
Dogs are distinct from all other animals because their senses of sight and scent are linked in the brain, while no other species has this capacity.
Veterinary neurologist Philippa Johnson says the following about it:
"I just kept finding these huge pathways. They seem like information freeways running from the nose back into the brain."
The MRIs of twenty-three dogs were analyzed by Johnson and her colleagues at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. They found that there was an extensive link between the olfactory bulb (which is responsible for smell) and the dogs' occipital lobes (for vision).
"The most interesting thing about this research are the connections from the nose up to the occipital lobe, which houses the visual cortex," Johnson says.
Dogs, in contrast to humans, depending on their sense of smell to make sense of their environment.
"One of the ophthalmologists at the hospital here said he regularly has owners that bring their dogs in, and when he tests their eyesight, they are completely blind — but the owners literally won't believe him," Johnson says. "The blind dogs act completely normally. They can play fetch. They can orientate around their environment, and they don't bump into things."