Dogs know more than they are often given credit for — and a new study by the Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary helps prove it.

Surveys and studies have already found that dogs can recognize hundreds of words. But new findings indicate that dogs not only recognize the names of objects — they may actually picture the items in their minds.

For the study, 18 dogs and their guardians were brought to the laboratory along with five of their favorite objects — like toys, leashes, and slippers.

Their guardians then held up one of the favorite objects, sometimes calling it by the right name, and sometimes by the wrong name (e.g., holding a up a ball but calling it a leash).

Using safe electroencephalography (EEG) technology, the researchers monitored each dog’s brain activity during the experiment. The EEG indicated that brain patterns differed when the objects matched the words versus when the wrong words were used.

The dogs’ brain activity also mirrored human EEG results that were believed to occur when human subjects pictured an object in their minds.

“These results provide the first neural evidence for object word knowledge in a non-human animal,” according to the study’s authors.

This indicates that dogs understand the meaning of words and are not just exhibiting a learned behavior by reacting to human language, according to Science Daily.

The exciting new findings may change how dogs are studied or taught in the future and opens the question to whether other animals may understand languages in a similar way.

Lady Freethinker applauds the researchers for their efforts in demonstrating how intelligent dogs truly are.