About Quiet Network Research Stady It was published last year, and dog researchers around the world raised their heads because it added a missing link in research on four-legged animals, which could play a key role in treating many diseases. We asked Dora Szabo, one of the study's authors, about the investigation and dog research in general.
Started by Vilmos Csanyi
The Department of Ethology at ELTE has been conducting canine research for decades, which was started by Vilmos Csanyi and Adam Miklosi. Brain research using fMRI began in 2006 under the leadership of Marta Gaksi, and since then they have investigated, among other things, how to manipulate it. different stimuli, What areas are activated in their brain? As Dora Szabo explains, this current success was preceded by 2018 research also aimed at breaking networks.
Whereas the previous study only described model-based networks independent of anatomical boundaries, researchers now have access to MRI brain atlases, in which anatomical regions are represented with sufficient resolution that the boundaries between gray and white matter become visible. As Dora Szabo explains, this gave them the opportunity to examine network members and the strengths of their relationships.
The big question was which brain regions form a functional network. Dogs' brains are much smaller, so spatial resolution is especially important. fMRI studies were also complicated by the fact that the nasal cavity of quadrupeds is much larger than that of humans, and this interferes with the fMRI signal.
Dogs have a small brain in a large skull, with muscle on top of it, resulting in poor data quality. Functional brain mapping was important to learn how individual regions connect and work together, and what types of networks can be identified in the brain
Dora Szabo explained. Based on examination of one hundred different regions, they were able to describe different types of networks, including those associated with different sensory and cognitive functions. With the help of network analysis, they were able to determine which ones occupy a central role in this system and how they relate to each other. They were actually curious about which areas come into play in quiet situations.
In humans, the prefrontal area plays a central role, while in dogs, the cingulate cortex plays a central role. This is also interesting because dogs form a different evolutionary branch, so it gives insight into a different organizational structure.
The results are important because the new rs-fMRI brain atlas may facilitate the study of phenomena in which cooperation between brain regions is impaired and this leads to poor task division. For example, these differences have since been described with the help of network analysis in dogs with anxiety disorders and epilepsy. As a result, basic research can play a prominent role in veterinary research.
The great task is to do nothing
The results were based on data from 33 dogs, there were old and younger, the main thing is that they are healthy and that they understand that the task now is really Apparently it does nothing.
By the way, anyone can apply for the Department of Ethology research with their dog, the condition is that the dog be motivated to complete the tasks – but this also requires the owner's motivation, because successful participation also requires practice at home.
Regarding why someone would enroll their dog in such an experiment, which takes a lot of time and energy, Dora Szabo answers that this is a great pride for the owners, as only about 100 dogs in the world are capable of such a difficult task. MRI retention task in the tube. In this way, the dog also gains skills in the program that can be used elsewhere.
(Cover image: Dora Szabo. Photo: Tamás Casas / Index)