Answer: Great question!
Many humans seem to think so. Some of their comments include:
- "Oh yes, I have found they certainly understand human emotion...also when one has died, they behave differently too. They are very intelligent and sensitive."
- "I think they absolutely respond to our emotions. When I first got Elsa, and thought something was wrong with her, I started crying while I was holding her, and Miss Elsa crawled up and snuggled under my hair like she knew I felt bad and needed cheering."
- "My girls know my moods. If I am down or depressed they snuggle more with me."
There was also a scientific study that looked at how the brains of dogs responded to human emotion, which found: "It turns out that both species have an area of the brain that is tuned to the 'emotional valence' of a voice, meaning it responds more strongly to positive emotions than negative emotions. And for this region, it doesn’t matter whether the voice is human or canine; a burst of laughter is equivalent to a playful bark." The author argues "that because dogs and humans... have regions dedicated to processing voices, this skill probably dates back 100 million years, to the common ancestor of humans and dogs." Let's take a look at the chart of mammal evolution from the article:
You may notice that "Guinea Pig" is also listed on the chart (last entry under the brown "Rodentia" section) as sharing a common ancestor. The article states that if this "theory is correct, then all or most of those species also carry the voice-sensitive brain area." As far as we know, there have yet to be any equivalent studies on guinea pigs where scientists scan our brains while exposing us to human emotions. We should also point out that this scientific study was hearing-based, and some of the humans who felt guinea pigs could sense emotions claimed that we "can also tell how you're feeling by scent." Therefore, scientists might also want to consider having humans physically present when they study guinea pig emotions so it's not just restricted to hearing.
|I'm sensing a human who loves me!|