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Invited Commentary


The responsiveness of dogs to humans encourages us to attribute human-like emotions to them. Indirect evidence for emotions in other animals can be obtained but one must be careful to find means of distinguishing what we believe to be evidence for such emotions from simpler mechanisms. For example, is a dog’s growl an indication of anger, fear, or possibly an unemotional defense of territory? By carefully designing experiments, we may be able to rule out alternative accounts and show better evidence for underlying emotions.

Author Biography

Thomas R. Zentall is the DiSilvestro Endowed Professor of Arts and Sciences and is a University Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. With Edward Wasserman, he has edited Comparative Cognition: Experimental Explorations of Animal Intelligence (Oxford University Press) and The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition.