Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


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


Cook, Prichard, Spivak, and Berns (2018) find that dogs’ levels of trait aggression are positively correlated with their amygdala activation when observing their caregivers giving a food to a fake dog. The authors conclude that this may provide neural evidence in dogs for the experience of jealousy, an emotion that some psychologists consider to be unique to humans. Here we explain the difference between the emotions of jealousy and envy, suggesting some ideas for future experiments that may help disentangle the experience of jealousy from that of envy in dogs. We also propose ideas for future research that may yield a more in-depth understanding of jealousy, and whether jealousy exists, in non-human animals.

Author Biography

Eddie Harmon-Jones, Professor of Psychology at The University of New South Wales, studies the effects of emotions on attention and other cognitive processes, the role of emotion and motivation in aggressive and pro-social behaviour, as well as the antecedents and consequences of discrepancies between cognitions. Website

Sylvia K. Harmon-Jones is an Honours student in Psychology at The University of New South Wales. She is currently examining early behavioral predictors of anxiety and associated biomarkers.