It can be startling when you first hear it: otherwise reasonable friends spouting their dogs’ inner monologues, as if it’s only natural for them to speak out loud. Is that food stop choking me I need that food, the strange voice might say. I am a dog give me that OK thanks look a tree.
“The first thing people do is treat their pets like people, so a precondition is that they perceive minds in their pets,” said Kurt Gray, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Once you see your pet as having a mind, and being pretty smart, and having a personality, the next question is, naturally, ‘What is the personality of my cat?’”
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