And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

Do dogs experience emotions like people do?

To find out, neuroscientist and bestselling author Gregory Berns and his team did something nobody had ever attempted: they trained dogs to go into an MRI scanner—completely awake—so he could figure out what they think and feel.


But dogs were just the beginning. In What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience, Berns takes us into the brains and minds of wild animals: sea lions who can learn to dance, and dolphins who can see with sound. In a radical experiment in neuroarchaeology, he reconstructs the brain of one of the most mysterious animals in recent history, the Tasmanian

tiger, to explain why it disappeared.


Berns’s latest scientific breakthroughs show how similar animal brains are to those of humans and make clear that we can understand what it’s like to be a dog— or a dolphin. He proves definitively that animals have feelings very much like we do—a revelation which forces us to reconsider what animal rights ought to be.


Written with insight, empathy, and humor, What It’s Like to Be a Dog heralds a new world, one in which complex intelligence is all around us. It is the new manifesto for animal liberation of the twenty-first century.

“In this big-hearted book, Gregory Berns applies cutting-edge science to questions that have never been so timely: How do other animals perceive their worlds? How do they experience emotions? How does their language work? What It’s Like to Be a Dog is a delightful, illuminating look at the minds and lives of our fellow creatures.”

Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins



“Berns has done it again: woven a compelling story with a scientific revolution. Marvelously written and intellectually engaging, What It’s Like to Be a Dog will establish Berns as one of the most skilled neuroscientists of our day, as well someone with the intuition that understanding other animals will lead to greater insight and knowledge about ourselves.”

Dr. Brian Hare, New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Dogs



Gregory Berns M.D. / Ph.D.


As the Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, Dr.Berns directs the Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience and the Center for Neuropolicy. He uses MRI to study human and canine decision making and has written three books about his findings.


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