By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder & product developer

Who feels stupid now for talking baby talk to the dog? Not me! An article published in this week’s Science Journal showed what you probably already realized: Your dog loves when you say nice things in that high-pitched voice. Through MRI scanning, scientists in Hungary proved that dogs process language like us, using both sides of the brain. Like humans, dogs use the left sides of their brains to process words and the right sides to process intonation.

Scientists found that dogs’ reward centers responded to praise, but only true praise that was given with a positive intonation. “It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match,” Attila Andics said in a release. “So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”

Read more about the study here.