COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGYBig thoughts in small brains? Dogs as a model for understanding human social cognitionMiklósi, Ádáma; Topál, Józsefb; Csányi, VilmosbAuthor Information aDepartment of Ethology, Eötvös University bComparative Ethology Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Pázmány, Hungary Correspondence to Ádám Miklósi, Department of Ethology, Eötvös University, Budapest, Pázmány P. 1/c H-1117, Hungary Tel: +36 1 381 2179; fax: +36 1 381 2180; e-mail: [email protected] Received 18 October 2006; accepted 29 November 2006 NeuroReport: March 26, 2007 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 467-471 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3280287aae Buy Metrics Abstract In this review we argued that dogs can provide a good model for both the evolution of human social-cognitive abilities and studying the underlying neural and genetic structures of these behavioural features. The key difference between the present and other approaches for modelling human social evolution lies in the assumption that there is a large overlap between the human and dog behaviour complex because during their evolution in close contact with human groups dogs evolved functionally similar social skills. Thus the parallel investigation of the human and dog behaviour complex widens our possibility for understanding human social cognition because it allows the modelling of the interaction between various components in contrast to other models which are often restricted to modelling a single aspect of human social cognitive skills. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.