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Meg Daley Olmert
05:36 PM on
03 Aug, 2012
Hi all, here’s a link to the TEDxTalk I gave at Washington College on June 30, 2012. It’s based on 20 years of research and my book, Made For Each Other, The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond (DaCapo, 2009). Hope you like it.
Christopher C Charles
12:49 PM on
06 Aug, 2012
Was this the video you had linked to? If so, it really is an amazing presentation. I had been aware of the power of oxytocin as a bonding agent and an anxiolytic, but I had no idea how integral it was to the history of animal domestication. Toward the end of your presentation, you briefly mentioned virtual interaction and seemed to suggest that computer-mediated communication channels can’t affect oxytocin levels as well as physical interaction. I’ve seen studies where participants asked to engage in virtual communication after receiving oxytocin were more cooperative as a result, but I’m not aware of any studies that have actively monitored oxytocin in such individuals. Some scholars, like Joseph Walther, have suggested that computer-mediated communication can actually have noticeable benefits for socialization when compared against face-to-face communication. I’d be curious to see if such settings affect oxytocin levels or if those benefits are achieved through other mechanisms altogether.
Meg Daley Olmert
10:19 AM on
29 Aug, 2012
Hi Christopher, Thanks for the compliment. Glad you found the talk interesting. Yes, it’s quite amazing to discover oxtyocin’s central role in the modulation of a complex brain system of calm/connect that can override fight/flight would lay the ground work for the evolution of the human-animal bond, domestication, and human civilization. But it also makes perfect sense.