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No, Your Dog Doesn’t Really Prefer Your Face, Brain Scans Show | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — You may think your dog is gazing lovingly at your face, but a new study suggests that’s not the case.

Hungarian researchers say dogs’ brains may not process faces the same way human brains do.

Faces are such an important part of communication for humans and other primates that faces have a special status in the visual system, and areas in the human brain are specifically activated by faces.

But this study found that dogs don’t have specific face areas in their brains.

The researchers, led by Nóra Bunford of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, used magnetic imaging to compare the brain activity of 30 humans and 20 pet dogs as they watched brief videos of people and dogs.

The results revealed that human brains had a preference for faces. Some visual areas of human brains showed greater activity in response to a face than to the back of someone’s head. Some of these brain regions also displayed species preference, with increased activity in response to seeing a human compared to a dog.

In contrast, dog brains only showed species preference. There was greater activity when they saw a dog than a person, and there was no difference in brain activity when dogs saw a face than when they saw the back of a head.

The findings were published Oct. 5 in the journal JNeurosci.

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Kamala Harris Doesn’t Trust Trump’s Word on Vaccines. She’s Not Alone

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris questioned Donald Trump’s word on a potential COVID-19 vaccine in Wednesday’s debate, and polling suggests she is not alone in distrusting the president on this point.



Kamala Harris sitting at a table: Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, on October 7, 2020.


© Alex Wong/Getty
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, on October 7, 2020.

Harris was asked whether she would take a vaccine if one were approved by the Trump administration, during her head-to-head with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely,” she said. “But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Pence criticized Harris’ comments and told her: “The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable.”

Watch: Harris Tells Pence ‘Mr. Vice President, I’m Speaking’ When He Interrupts During 2020 Debate

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While the Republican pushed back against Harris’ remarks, polling suggests her view reflects public opinion.

In an Axios/Ipsos survey, conducted among 1,075 U.S. adults from September 24 to 27, people were asked how likely they would be to take a first generation COVID-19 vaccine in a range of scenarios.

In a situation in which their doctor said a vaccine was safe, 62 percent said they were likely to take it. Then asked how they would react if Trump said it was safe, 19 percent said they would be likely to take it.

In an ABC News/Ipsos poll, conducted among 528 adults September 18 to 19, most of those asked said they did not trust Trump to confirm the safety and effectiveness of a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Asked how much confidence they had that he could do so, 53 percent said none at all.

An NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll found that a majority of those asked if they trust what Trump has said about a vaccine for the coronavirus, said they did not.

Of 36,551 respondents, asked online from September 7 to 13, 52 percent said they did not trust what Trump had said.

Meanwhile, separate polling has reported a fall in the proportion of people who have said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Trump has long spoken of his push for a vaccine to

Grieving families say Trump’s experience with COVID-19 doesn’t mirror reality

When Carol Ackerman’s dad was dying of COVID-19, he wasn’t getting attention from infectious disease specialists or treatment from expensive, experimental drugs. Instead, he got an orthopedic surgeon — a specialist in muscle, tendon, bone and ligament health — who was doing his best under difficult circumstances.



a couple of people posing for the camera: Carol Ackerman's father Stanley J. Teich, who passed away in April at 79, poses with two of his granddaughters.


© Carol Ackerman
Carol Ackerman’s father Stanley J. Teich, who passed away in April at 79, poses with two of his granddaughters.

“They had so many patients that it was all hands on deck,” Ackerman explained.

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But looking back on the options her dad had, and comparing that to the now daily updates about the care President Donald Trump has received following his coronavirus diagnosis, Ackerman said, “It’s just not fair.”

“And I think what truly would have made a difference is our government not downplaying this disease,” she added.

As Trump this week crows about his first-rate medical care — which included a rare experimental antibody treatment available to fewer than 10 people outside medical trials — and declares victory in the pandemic, many Americans hit by virus are struggling to share his optimism.

More than 211,000 people have died in the pandemic, and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, this week predicted that the death toll could go as high as 300,000 to 400,000 if serious action isn’t taken soon.

Meanwhile, Trump has used his fight against the virus to minimize the tragedy, declaring his coronavirus diagnosis a “blessing in disguise” in a polished video from the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday.

MORE: ‘An embarrassment’: Trump tweet angers pandemic survivors

His message leaves families like Ackerman’s trying to square the president’s overly optimistic message with their own reality.

“With his power of being president comes privilege, and that’s the way it should be, despite what my political beliefs or somebody else’s might be,” Ackerman said. “But I think that everybody should get the same kind of attention.”

Gallery: Our Child Might Be ‘Differently Abled,’ But That Doesn’t Mean We’ve Lost Hope (Mom.com)

Recently, Ackerman shared a photo of her 79-year old father on Twitter. Sick and pale in a hospital gown, an oxygen mask covering most of his face, he didn’t match the president’s rosy description of fighting the virus, nor did he look like himself: the full-time immigration attorney who used to personally drive his clients to their hearings in his old Cadillac.



a group of people posing for the camera: Carol Ackerman's father Stanley J. Teich, who passed away in April at 79, poses with two of his granddaughters.


© Carol Ackerman
Carol Ackerman’s father Stanley J. Teich, who passed away in April at 79, poses with two of his granddaughters.

“I’m sure that he’d be upset with me if he knew I shared that, but I wanted it to be real,” Ackerman said. “These are real people, these are everyday Americans that got sick through no fault of their own, and died.”

Across the country, families who have lost their loved ones to coronavirus over the past eight months echoed Ackerman’s sentiments, calling the fallout of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis this past week at once triggering and bewildering.

“Don’t be