Photo by carterse via Creative Commons. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/australianshepherds/3212875937/
Photo by carterse via Creative Commons. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/australianshepherds/3212875937/

How To Evolve a Dog’s Brain (And A Human One, While We’re At It)

It’s Thursday, and that means that I’m publishing my next piece for Matter, my weekly column for the New York Times. Today, I take a look at dogs. Last month I wrote in the Times about cognitive scientists playing games with dogs to probe their behavior. But that’s just part of the story of canine research these days. There are also geneticists out there looking at the same question from a different perspective. They want to find the genes that evolved over the past 30,000 years or so to turn the brain of a wolf into the brain of a dog. The answers are now starting to emerge, and they’re fascinating. They may, in fact, tell us a lot about how we became humans. Check it out!