Just like humans, dogs are surprisingly adept at picking out their own name in a noisy room, says new research with implications on how working canines respond in moments of crisis.
The study, done by researchers at the University of Maryland, analyzes what is known as the ‘the cocktail party effect.’
This phenomenon, which is also observed in humans, involves the ability of the brain to effectively turn down the volume in a crowded room, singling out only the noises deemed important.
The researchers found that dogs were able to mimic this cocktail effect, discerning their own names when spoken at the same volume or louder than noise emanating from the background.
Scientists say the results held true even when the dogs’ names were spoken through a loudspeaker, ruling out the possibility that the dogs were responding to body language and not verbal ques.
To study the animals’ abilities, researchers gathered various breeds of dogs — pets and working dogs — and place each dog with its owner in a room containing two loudspeakers on opposite sides.