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Victoria Palone

My name is Victoria Palone and I recently graduated from Vassar College with degrees in cognitive science and creative writing. I have always been particularly interested in the inner workings of animal minds, and have long wondered how animals might perceive humans. For my senior year thesis project, I got the chance to work up close and personal with dogs to investigate whether or not they seem to understand humans—but not other, inanimate agents—as capable of causal action. My thesis work was actually what inspired my piece here, and I hope to someday continue building on this foundation to uncover more about what dogs know about us.

Dogs have long been man’s best friends for a good reason. While the origin of the human-dog relationship is not definitively known, estimates date back to 15,000-30,000 years ago when wolves began moving closer to hunter-gatherer societies to scavenge for leftover meat. Since then, wolves have been selectively bred, undergoing significant evolutionary changes to morph …

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