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What Will New DogSmarts Podcast Series Find in Mental Lives of Dogs?

A new podcast series features a mix of stories and interviews from leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists and veterinarians on topics from canine memory and word learning to nutrition and love.


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A new podcast series, “DogSmarts,” launched June 10. It features six episodes that explore the mental lives and cognitive abilities of dogs.

The series, hosted by Dr. Brian Hare, founder of Dognition and professor of cognitive neuroscience at Duke University, and sponsored by Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind, includes a mix of stories and interviews from leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists and veterinarians on topics from canine memory and word learning to nutrition and love.

Episodes include:

  • “Memory Master”: Dr. Hare explores how memory plays a powerful role in understanding canine cognition with Dr. Evan MacLean, assistant professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Anthropology.
  • “Internal Compass”: Hare is joined by Dr. Alexandra Rosati, assistant professor of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, and Dr. MacLean to explain how dogs use the Earth’s magnetic fields to navigate.
  • “The Bright Mind Effect”: Hare speaks with Dr. Janet Jackson, vice president of nutrition research at Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., Dr. Gary Pan, principal research scientist at Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., and Dr. Bill Milgram, who researches canine cognitive aging, to discuss how essential nutrients can help support cognitive health as a dog ages.
  • “Get to Work”: Experts in the field of working and therapeutic dogs discuss how these dogs use cognitive abilities to help humans. This episode features Betsie Hughes (alongside her service dog), Jamie Togal, a guide-dog mobility instructor at Leader Dogs for the Blind, and Paul Mundell, CEO of Canine Companions for Independence.
  • “Empathy”: Hare explains the physiological phenomenon behind the universal and undeniable bond between dogs and humans with guests Ragen McGowan, senior scientist in the behavior group at Nestlé Research and Development Center, Sue Carter, director of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ramiro Joly-Mascheroni, Ph.D. student at the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit at City University London, and MacLean.
  • “On Point”: Hare is joined by Dr. Josep Call, professor in the Evolutionary Origins of Mind at the University of Saint Andrews, and Dr. Adam Miklosi, head of the Department of Ethology at Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary, to explore verbal and nonverbal communication between humans and dogs.

“The scientific community has made huge strides in our understanding of the rich mental lives of dogs, and with this series, we aim to share those fascinating—and sometimes surprising—learnings with dog and science lovers,” Hare said. “Each episode is packed with stories and interviews with world-renowned experts to explain the intriguing and expansive world of canine cognition.”

To listen to the podcast, visit iTunes, Google Play or panoply.fm/shows.

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