Thursday, January 15, 2009

Using our own biology against us

Japanese scientists uncover the trick behind "puppy-dog eyes."

From World Science:

If you’ve ever wondered how just one doleful look from your dog always makes you forgive that chewed-up shoe—or almost anything else—scientists may have an an­swer.

A dog’s gaze triggers release of the so-called “trust hormone” oxytocin in owners, according to Japanese researchers. Oxytocin, produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, is implicated in bonding behaviors in animals including humans...

The investigators found in­creases in the hormone level that were highly correlated to “the frequency of behavioral exchanges initiated by the dog’s gaze,” they reported, writing in the Dec. 14 issue of the research journal Hormones and Behavior.

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