Dogs' brains — are they symmetrical?

To the casual observer, the skull of an average dog may look more or less left/right symmetrical. But are they really?

More progress has recently been made towards resolving this question. A joint research team from the University of Bari, and the University of Trento, in Italy, performed non-hazardous computed tomography (CT) scans of the heads of a dozen dogs. Results of the scans showed that seven had a larger right hemisphere, two had a larger left hemisphere, and two showed no appreciable difference.

"This right-biased hemispheric asymmetry supports data reported previously using post-mortem morphological studies in both dogs and other mammalian species."

- say the investigators. Their research paper ‘Volumetric assessment of cerebral asymmetries in dogs‘ is scheduled for publication in a future edition of the journal Laterality.

Note 1: Mathematically inclined readers will have spotted that the reported total is one dog short of the full pack – sadly, the paper's abstract provides little or no clarification on this.

Note 2: The study builds the portfolio of canine asymmetry work at the University of Bari, which has previously investigated left/right biases in dogs' tails waggings.

This post originally appeared on Improbable Research.