My amygdala smiles at cats

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My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby Ann » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:49 am

Image


Why do I smile when I look at a picture like this one? Why do I smile when I see a cat in real life? Apparently it is because my amygdala is particularly fond of cats! :D


Image


We have two amygdalae in our brains. The amygdala you can see in this picture would appear to be the left one, the one, interestingly, that doesn't smile at cats!



The right amydala is a "primitive" structure in our brains which reacts strongly and immediately to the sight of animals. Our amygdala would strongly have influenced our behaviour tens of thousands of years ago or more, when we lived in small groups on the savanna. We had to react immediately to animals which posed dangers to us, such as lions and snakes, and we also had to react strongly to animals that we might kill and eat. Apparently, however, our amydala also possessed the ability to react positively to animals. If we hadn't had that instinctive ability, how would we have been able to domesticate so many animals?

Florian Mormann, Julien Dubois, Simon Kornblith, Milica Milosavljevic, Moran Cerf, Matias Ison, Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Alexander Kraskov, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Ralph Adolphs, Itzhak Fried & Christof Koch have carried out a study on human response to animals and located the origin to our instinctive reactions to our amygdalae - or rather, to one of them!. The title of their paper is "A category-specific response to animals in the right human amygdala". Yes, because fascinatingly, it is only our right amygdala that reacts to animals!

Read the press release here. It's really interesting!

Image

Awwwww! (Amygdala-smile!)






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Last edited by Ann on Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby orin stepanek » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:13 pm

Hey Ann; Not all cats make me smile. :mrgreen:
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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby Ann » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:04 pm

You're right, Orin, the small ones are more smile-inducing! :mrgreen:



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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby BMAONE23 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:05 pm

But if you are a cat person, even the big ones make you feel like you want to give them a big hug and listen to them purr
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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby Ann » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:03 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:But if you are a cat person, even the big ones make you feel like you want to give them a big hug and listen to them purr


That's right! Isn't this a cuddly cat?

Click to play embedded YouTube video.


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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby orin stepanek » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:14 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:But if you are a cat person, even the big ones make you feel like you want to give them a big hug and listen to them purr

I've heard that cats only hunt when they are hungry; so make sure that it is fed before you give them a big hug. :mrgreen:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby starstruck » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:15 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.


Aw, that cheetah really is beautiful! Nice to see it so happy and relaxed. At least it looks to be living somewhere like it's natural habitat . . . more than can be said for the tiger (..sounds, to me, like it was filmed in a zoo - ugh!)


Here's a clip of Mia, one of my cats . . . she has always been very talkative (and she is always happy - she purrs just sooo much!)



(cat people won't need the subtitles!!) . .
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Re: My amygdala smiles at cats

Postby Ann » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:28 am

AAWWWWWW!!!

Happy cat - super-happy amygdala!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

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