September 10, 2011

Humans Wired to Respond to Animals

Katie Neith, Science Daily


AP Photo

Some people feel compelled to pet every furry animal they see on the street, while others jump at the mere sight of a shark or snake on the television screen. No matter what your response is to animals, it may be thanks to a specific part of your brain that is hardwired to rapidly detect creatures of the nonhuman kind. In fact, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and UCLA report that neurons throughout the amygdala -- a center in the brain known for processing emotional reactions -- respond preferentially to images of animals.

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TAGGED: Amygdala, Neuroscience, Animals

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