Captivated by critters: humans are wired to respond to animals


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 12 September 2011

Captivated by critters: Caltech and UCLA researchers find humans are wired to respond to animals, Cal Instit Tech, Sept 8, 2011.

This intriguing research measures human responces to animals below the level of consciousness, demonstrating an evolutionairly conditioned human responce to animal interaction. 

Though this research only quantifies the human responce to animal interaction, it makes me think about the role of animals in living a healthy life.

The lack of engagement with animals of the vast majority of human population now living in mega cities may be detrimental to their psychological health.

We have already seen how the lack of contact with natural pathogens in our mega cities has weakened kid's immune systems. Now we may have found a physical explanation for why relationships with animals are so fulfilling for city people.

The lack of engagement with elements of a natural environment and the lack of animal interaction may be robbing billions of city people of the experiences necessary for basic satisfication and fulfillment.

Has our social evolution robbed us of our evolutionary legasy of natural and animal interaction?

Has our drive for social "success" led us to create an unsatisfying environment that defines philosophical, spiritual and physical failure?


 

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