Social evolution. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds.

Abstract

Human-like modes of communication, including mutual gaze, in dogs may have been acquired during domestication with humans. We show that gazing behavior from dogs, but not wolves, increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners, which consequently facilitated owners' affiliation and increased oxytocin concentration in dogs. Further, nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behavior in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners. These findings support the existence of an interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing, which may have supported the coevolution of human-dog bonding by engaging common modes of communicating social attachment.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1261022

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@article{Nagasawa2015SocialEO, title={Social evolution. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds.}, author={Miho Nagasawa and Shouhei Mitsui and Shiori En and Nobuyo Ohtani and Mitsuaki Ohta and Yasuo Sakuma and Tatsushi Onaka and Kazutaka Mogi and Takefumi Kikusui}, journal={Science}, year={2015}, volume={348 6232}, pages={333-6} }