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Its all in the eyes; new study shows why dogs fall in love with humans

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Dog's_Love

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Don’t be baffled by how scientists show the transformation of wolf – from wild beast to an adorable, friendly canine companion. Because, a new study, headed by Takefumi Kikusui of the Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology at Azabu University in Japan, puts forward a new theory that dogs and homo sapiens progressed together and became ‘buddies’ over the centuries through the mutual eye contact and the higher level of oxytocin (sometimes known as “love hormone”). This, in turn, cultivated the faith and emotion between the two.

It is noteworthy that previous researches suggested that a similar behavior in mother and her child leads to long lasting love and protection. When a mother locks gaze with her baby, it stimulates production of oxytocin, resulting in an outflow of love, strong bond and a sense of protection.

The study, published in the US journal Science, unveiled  that, “Dogs are more skillful than wolves and chimpanzees, the closest respective relatives of dogs and humans, at using human social communicative behaviors.”

The group of researchers observed 30 dog owners communicate with their canine pals for half an hour, and then measured the oxytoxin levels in dogs and their owners, revealed the first part of the study.

The second part focused more on finding out whether the oxytocin actually led to the prolonged stare. The researchers administered oxytocin to a new pack of dogs, and then observed how they communicated with their owners. On a strange note, oxytocin administered to female dogs drew higher levels in both the dogs and their owners when compared with male dogs. However, researchers failed to prove why this happened.

In a nutshell, this interesting research implies that over time as we tamed dogs, they might have evolved with a mutually benign ability to connect with humans exactly the same way that we bond with each other.

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Petting Dogs, Cats Can Improve Students’ Mood: Study

These results were found even while considering that some students may have had very high or low levels to begin with

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The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

College is stressful. Students have classes, exams and so many other pressures common in modern life and now researchers have found that petting dogs and cats can improve students’ mood with stress-relieving physiological benefits, a study shows.

According to the study published in the journal AERA Open, many universities have instituted “Pet Your Stress Away” programmes, where students can come in and interact with cats and dogs.

“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact,” students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone,” said Patricia Pendry, Associate Professor at Washington State University.

The study involved 249 college students randomly divided into four groups. The first group received hands-on interaction in small groups with cats and dogs for 10 minutes. They could pet, play with and generally hang out with the animals as they wanted.

To compare effects of different exposures to animals, the second group observed other people petting animals while they waited in line for their turn. The third group watched a slideshow of the same animals available during the intervention, while the fourth group was “waitlisted”.

“Relations with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. They also provide older people with a sense of being needed and loved,” said Mary Janevic, researcher at the University of Michigan in the US.  Pixabay

According to the researchers, those students waited for their turn quietly for 10 minutes without their phones, reading materials or other stimuli, but were told they would experience animal interaction soon.

For the findings, several salivary cortisol samples were collected from each participant, starting in the morning when they woke up.

Once all the data was crunched from the various samples, the students who interacted directly with the pets showed significantly less cortisol in their saliva after the interaction.

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These results were found even while considering that some students may have had very high or low levels to begin with.

“What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way. And it did, which is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health,” Pendry said. (IANS)