Peter Cook, Ashley Prichard, Mark Spivak, and Gregory S. Berns, Jealousy in dogs? Evidence from brain imaging


Whereas the feelings of other beings are private and may always remain so, emotions are simultaneously manifested in behavior, physiology, and other observables. Nonetheless, uncertainty about whether emotions can be studied adequately across species has promoted skepticism about their very presence in other parts of the animal kingdom. Studying social emotions like jealousy in the context of the social relationships in which they arise, as has been done in the case of animal empathy, may help dispel this skepticism. Empathy in other species came to be accepted partly because of the behavioral similarities between its expression in nonhuman animals and humans, and partly because of the neurological parallels. Non-invasive brain imaging results like those reported in the target article can thus help integrate human and animal emotions within an evolutionary framework — but the social context underlies precise definitions of the phenomenon.

Author Biography

Christine Webb, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Advanced Study in Ape and Human Evolution, Emory University, studies conflict resolution in humans and chimpanzees, including the evolutionary origins of reconciliatory behaviors and strategies. Website

Frans de Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University, Director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Distinguished Professor at Utrecht University. His latest research concerns empathy and cooperation, inequity aversion and social cognition in chimpanzees, bonobos, and other species. Website