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  • - [Narrator] Puppies, they're the furry friends

  • we take for granted.

  • But, how does having one affect us?

  • (upbeat music)

  • - My name is Meg Olmert and I'm the author of

  • "Made For Each Other: the biology of the human-animal bond."

  • Our journey with dogs began about 45,000 years ago

  • according to the latest archeological evidence.

  • It preceded many hundreds of thousands of years

  • with a more casual, and perhaps distant, pragmatic

  • relationship with wolves as well.

  • But about 45,000 years ago we start to see the bones change

  • and indications that A, dogs are certainly living with us.

  • And that living with us appears to have had certain

  • effects on their biology and their physiology.

  • That is what enabled them to

  • become our best friends.

  • - [Narrator] How does this relationship work?

  • - There is a feedback system that both neurochemically

  • and psychologically and behaviorally

  • that sets up between you and your pet.

  • And how good you are to your pet

  • is often exactly reflected back.

  • Although, what I would say

  • is they tend to be wildly generous.

  • More generous than we are.

  • So, that is why, you know, they'll be wagging their tail,

  • you know, thrilled to see you when you come home

  • or if it's a cat it's purring.

  • And you may be very distracted but they aren't.

  • You are the greatest thing they ever saw

  • if you've developed this relationship.

  • If you've earned it.

  • You have a different relationship with your own pet

  • versus your, even your neighbor's pet, because it's,

  • that's your closer family.

  • It's a different kind of bond and when they do FMRI studies

  • just like a mother will have certain brain regions

  • light up very strongly in the dopamine

  • and oxytocin rich areas when they look at a picture

  • of their baby versus just another infant.

  • When you look at a picture of your dog versus another dog,

  • you see the same thing.

  • If you love dogs you're gonna get this reward

  • to a degree whether you are looking at your dog or not.

  • Do therapy dogs work?

  • Well they certainly can.

  • Dogs can do amazing things.

  • With our program Warrior Canine Connection

  • we work with service members

  • and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • We have the patients who say, "This dog

  • is better than any drug I ever took.

  • I didn't sleep for five years until this dog

  • slept next to me."

  • - [Narrator] What happens to your body

  • when you're with your dog?

  • - [Meg] Your heart rate comes down,

  • your blood pressure comes down,

  • your heart rate variability which is the ability

  • of the heart to duck and dive

  • and respond to stress improves.

  • You release oxytocin, the opioids,

  • adrenaline, and serotonin.

  • So, all of these great reward chemicals

  • and anti-stress chemicals can be released

  • in both you and the pet.

  • - [Narrator] What is oxytocin?

  • - Oxytocin is a very ancient chemical.

  • It's in all social mammals.

  • There's variations on it that you find in birds

  • and in turtles, and in worms.

  • And it most effectively is known for releasing breast milk

  • and creating labor contractions.

  • That's what it was first known for.

  • So in a sense, it is the quintessential mammalian hormone

  • since live birth and production of breast milk identifies us

  • as mammals and mammary glands, et cetera.

  • About 25 years ago they discovered that besides the oxytocin

  • receptors and cells in the body that are producing oxytocin

  • in the breast and the uterus, lo and behold,

  • it's produced throughout the brain and in all the areas

  • that control behavior and emotion.

  • So what was it doing there?

  • And what they discovered was that it was talking to other

  • classic brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin,

  • and dopamine and adrenaline, and the opioid system.

  • And it was setting up, by doing that, this perfect

  • mental physiologic state of calm.

  • It is the most powerful drive and it creates the bond

  • that lasts a lifetime.

  • That's how strong it is.

  • (happy music)

- [Narrator] Puppies, they're the furry friends

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犬を持つことはあなたの脳と体に何をするか (What Having A Dog Does To Your Brain And Body)

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    Evangeline に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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