Secrets of the Canine Mind

New research is revealing how complex a thing it is.
Most of the time, we give our dogs very good lives. We fancy that they understand us, and maybe they do: come home sad and they’ll nuzzle your hand. They don’t have language, but they communicate volumes – with their eyes, with their barks with their entire expressive bodies.

That’s something we know intuitively, but science is pushing harder to understand it empirically. Canine-research facilities have been established around the world, in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Italy, Australia and elsewhere. In the U.S. alone, there are facilities at Duke, Tufts and Yale universities. The Association for Psychological Science (APS), which typically concerns itself with the well-being of humans, recently devoted en entire issue of its journal Current Directions in Psychological Science to the canine mind. The findings were often impressive: Dogs can count-sort of-learning to look two boards with geometric shapes attached to them and choose the one that has more. They can read human faces-understanding the importance of using gaze to communicate and to direct our attention. They can excel at what is known as object permanence-understanding that when an object is out of sight, it has not vanished from existence. It takes humans a lot longer to learn such a basic truth of the world, which is why babies who toss food or a spoon from a high chair will so often not look down at the floor to try to find it.

John Lennon’s original Rolls-Royce hitting London in honor of ‚Sgt. Pepper’s‘ anniversary

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce is back on tour in London.

If you visit the British capital in a couple weeks, take a stroll to the Bonhams gallery to see the world’s most colorful Rolls in the posh Mayfair district, where Lennon himself would drive (and most likely, be driven) in this swirly, psychedelic Phantom V.