The human – animal connection
March 28, 2019

Did you know that there is a specific region of your brain specifically hardwired to respond to animals?

What’s more, the region is triggered by everything from cute and fluffy to big, baldy and even threatening animals.

How do we know people respond to animals?

Researchers conducted a study whereby they gave three different types of stimuli. Pictures of people, landmarks, animals and objects to epilepsy patients. They were hooked up to brain activity monitoring sensors.

The researchers tracked the neuroactivity of the patients’ amygdalae. This is a region of the brain that basically looks like an almond and is associated with emotions, fear and smell.

Their findings indicated that their patients’ neuroactivity was most active when looking at images of animals (i.e. cats and snakes) rather than buildings or people.

What do we prefer?

This preference was present when looking at cute animals as well as ugly or dangerous animals and appears to be unrelated to the emotional context of the image. People just like animals.

As well as this, they found that not only was the activity greater when viewing animals but that it also occurred more quickly

These findings were later repeated and found consistent in non-epileptic patients.

Conclusion: Animals have a direct line to our brains in a way that not even other humans do.

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