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  • Writer's pictureCrone


Humans are a social species, defined by Atzil et al. as ‘one where animals regulate one another’s fundamental physiological processes (or allostasis), and therefore their survival depends on social bonds’ (Atzil et al., 2018).

The Muse headset shows me when my brainwaves are in a calm, neutral or active state. Here's the thing, if I am focusing on my animals - even if they're annoying - my brain is calmer. As Lisa Feldman Barrett describes it, the animals help me to balance my body budget.

A friend of mine who does counseling says that she is enjoying doing it online because often people's animals are part of the process and she feels that it makes a difference.

There has been research done on therapy dogs and so on in hospitals and old people's homes. A research showing that a person's subjective feeling of pain is lesser in a loved one is close. But what I'd like to know is if species matters, how shared experience matters, how the subjective feeling of intimacy matters. What are the criteria?

Does eye contact make a difference?

I have a profound sense of connection through eye contact even with complete strangers. It's almost tangible. If I were tripping, I'd see the line line a filament that gradually dissipates when you look away, that strengthens with time and repetition. Like neural networks. As though we are neurons with millions of dendrites able to connect with anyone.... Could chemical, electrical pulses pass between us? We touch each other without touching.

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