Scientists Explain Why We Can’t Resist Puppy Dog Eyes

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/puppy-dog-eyes-boost-your-oxytocin

Oxytocin, or the love hormone, helps reinforce the bond between a parent and a child. And now, researchers working with man’s best friend reveal that dogs have tapped into—or hijacked, some might say—this same instinctual bonding mechanism. Gazing into those sweet puppy dog eyes increases our oxytocin levels, and theirs too. The findings, published in Science this week, suggest that this “oxytocin-gaze” may have been acquired during the domestication of dogs from wolves…

http://io9.com/5925206/10-reasons-why-oxytocin-is-the-most-amazing-molecule-in-the-world

New research is suggesting that oxytocin plays a crucial part in enabling us to not just forge and strengthen our social relations, but in helping us to stave off a number of psychological and physiological problems as well. But more conceptually, oxytocin is proving to be a crucial ingredient to what makes us human. Here are ten reasons why oxytocin is simply the most incredible molecule on the planet:

One of the neat things about oxytocin is that you can get your fix anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is simply hug someone or shake their hand. The simple act of bodily contact will cause your brain to release low levels of oxytocin — both in yourself and in the person you’re touching. It’s a near-instantaneous way to establish trust. And the good news is that the effect lingers afterward. There’s even evidence that simply gazing at someone will do the trick — or even just thinking about them. And you shouldn’t feel limited by the human species; it also helps to hug and play with your pets. And for those who can’t produce enough oxytocin on their own, or who feel they could use a boost, the molecule can be easily synthesized and administered as a drug…

Amazingly, oxytocin can also be used to heal wounds (through its anti-inflammatory properties). Studies have also shown that a rise in oxytocin levels can relieve pain — everything from headaches, cramps and overall body aches. Now, that being said, the trick is to get some oxytocin action while you’re in pain — which is not so easy. This is where synthetics can certainly help. Alternately, if you find yourself in physical discomfort, you could always ask your partner for a roll in the hay. So guys, be sure to use this crucial information the next time your significant other declines your advances and tells you she has a headache…

4. Reduces social fears…

7. An antidepressant…

8. Stress relief…

Under comments:

Kronicide:  “Now, it should be noted, however, that, while oxytocin increases in-group trust, it produces the opposite feeling for those in the out-group…”

Wait, what? It makes us hate strangers? This makes me curious about what other not-so-awesome effects it has.

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