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  • Can Dogs Discriminate Emotional Expressions of Human Faces with Dr. Corsin Müller

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Can Dogs Discriminate Emotional Expressions of Human Faces with Dr. Corsin Müller

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • 11:00 AM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020
  • 12:00 PM (EDT)
  • Recorded Webinar


  • A discount for Doggone safe members
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  • Almost three hours of live webinars and support materials you get to keep for your own records

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presented by Dr. Corsin Müller

CEUs:  IAABC 1, PPG 1, KPA 1, CCPDT, 1

This presentation will first give some background information on a study about dogs’ perception of human faces. Then explain the testing of dogs with an automated procedure at a touchscreen apparatus, and argue why our study, unlike others published before, convincingly shows that at least some dogs can discriminate emotional expressions in human faces, even when these are shown on two-dimensional photographs and by people who the dogs had never encountered before. Finally, it will deal with a number of misinterpretations of the results that were presented in the mainstream media and outline future work arising from the study.

Webinar Objectives

  • Get up to date with the current knowledge about how dogs perceive human faces and what information dogs extract from these stimuli.
  • Understand the difference between discrimination and recognition.
  • Comprehend the purpose of and need for carefully controlled experimental studies to rule out alternative explanations for observed behaviour.
  • Learn about modern, non-invasive methods in state-of-the art research on dog behaviour and cognition.
  • Acquire a critical attitude towards media reports about results of primary research.

About The Presenter

Dr. Müller studied Biology with particular focus on Animal Behaviour at the University of Zürich (Switzerland). After two internships with field work in the Kalahari (South Africa) and in Yellowstone National Park (USA), he then went on to study vocal and olfactory communication of banded mongooses in Queen Elizabeth National Park (Uganda). For this work he obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Zürich in 2007.

As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Müller initially continued studying the banded mongooses in Queen Elizabeth National Park, as an independent research fellow based at the University of Exeter (UK). In 2010, he moved to Vienna where he has been studying the cognitive abilities of domestic dogs, first at the University of Vienna and then at the recently founded Messerli Research Institute. During his career, Dr. Müller has written or co-authored 20 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Among them is a recent article entitled “Dogs can discriminate emotional expressions of human faces”.

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