The science behind why we see a human face in Yogi the dog

A photo of a Shih-Tzu-poodle mix name Yogi has sent the Internet into a tizzy with the canine’s resemblance to a human face.

Yogi’s pic first appeared in Reddit. The caption said. “A friend of a friend posted a pic on Facebook of her dog. It looks like a man’s face.”

The Internet quickly responded with some people saying the dog looks like he had been photoshopped and others saying it looked like Yogi had human eyes.

Why Yogi’s human-like face is so appealing actually has a lot to do with science.

Research has shown that  certain traits in faces of babies are particularly appealing and dogs use facial movements to get attention from humans.

Most mammals produce facial expressions and studies show that dogs are sensitive to human’s attentional state when producing facial expressions, suggesting that facial expressions are not just inflexible and involuntary displays of emotional states, but rather potentially active attempts to communicate with others.

The other study showed that the presence of infantile physical and behavioral feature in animals might form the basis of human’s attraction to those species.

 

The ability of companion animals to bond with humans fulfills the need for attention and emotional intimacy, thus serving similar psychological and adaptive functions as human-human friendships.

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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