Emily Bray

Assistant Professor, Psychology
Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine (Primary Title)
Headshot - Bray, Emily - Faculty (Affiliate)
She, Her, Hers

Research Interests:

  • The impact of early maternal care on later cognition, temperament, and life outcomes
  • Developmental and genetic bases of individual differences in dog behavior and cognition, especially as related to and shaped by interactions with humans
  • Age-related cognitive decline
  • Cognitive and behavioral characteristics of successful working dogs

Updated: 09/06/21

Selected Publications:

  • Bray, E.E., Gnanadesikan, G.E., Horschler, D.J., Levy, K.M., Kennedy, B.S., Famula, T.R., and MacLean, E.L. (2021). Early-emerging and highly heritable sensitivity to human communication in dogs. Current Biology, 31, 3132-3136.e3135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.055
  • Bray, E.E., Raichlen, D.A., Forsyth, K., Promislow, D.E.L., Alexander, G.E., MacLean, E.L., & Dog Aging Project Consortium (2023). Associations between physical activity and cognitive dysfunction in older companion dogs: Results from the Dog Aging Project. GeroScience, 45, 645-661. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-022-00655-8
  • Bray, E.E., Gruen, M., Gnanadesikan, G.E., Horschler, D.J., Levy, K., Kennedy, B.S., Hare, B., and MacLean, E. (2021). Dog cognitive development: a longitudinal study across the first 2 years of life. Animal Cognition, 24, 311-328. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-020-01443-7
  • Bray, E.E., Sammel, M.D., Cheney, D.L., Serpell, J.A., and Seyfarth, R.M. (2017). The effects of maternal investment, temperament, and cognition on guide dog success. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 114, 9128–9133. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1704303114
  • Bray, E.E., MacLean, E.L., and Hare, B. (2014). Context specificity of inhibitory control in dogs. Anim Cognition, 17, 15-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-013-0633-z

Updated: 10/04/23


  • B.A. in Cognitive Psychology and English, Duke University
  • M.A. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania