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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dogs 'share their owners' emotions'


From the London Telegraph (click here)

The bond between dogs and their owners may be deeper than we thought, according to research that suggests the pets may share their owners' emotions.

Dog being carried by it's owner: Dogs 'share their owners' emotions'
The bond between dogs and their owners may be deeper than we thought Photo: ALAMY


When the animals are confronted with a human displaying strong feelings, they themselves produce a similar emotional response, the researchers found.
The discovery could cast light on how dogs' pack behaviour has been translated into the modern world.
Biomedical scientist Dr Karine Silva, of the University of Porto, says that dogs even possess certain human-like social skills that chimpanzees, our closest relatives, do not.
Writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, she says the animals' response goes beyond simply mimicing their owners' - a reaction known as "emotional contagion".
Dr Silva said: "A study showing that pets, namely dogs, behave as 'upset' as children when exposed to familiar people faking distress, strongly suggests 'sympathetic concern'.
"Also, it has been reported that untrained dogs may be sensitive to human emergencies and may act appropriately to summon help, which, if true, suggests empathic perspective taking."
The researchers believe there are three main reasons for dogs empathising with human.

Would you pay for news?


In a Linked-In discussion a pro-business individual proposed that we need to find a way for the end user (reader, viewer) to pay for their access to news. To some extent that is already true, as we pay for internet service, we pay for the newspaper, and we pay for cable...but to have to pay for the news that should be a public service and is a key part to keeping our nation free...I have a real problem with that.

why students do not and will not pay for news.

It's a new generation out there, so pay models will only lead to an informed elite and uninformed malleable masses.

The fourth estate needs to be available and accessible for everyone for free or we could lose the core of our American Democracy, where every citizen has the right to an informed vote.

Interests in news in this iPod age are declining, at least among high school and college students. We see or are in contact with those who eat up news, as I do, but the reality is that most Americans are uninformed by choice.

Then too there is the recession. How can you ask people to pay for something they can live without? Those of us news junkies will pay, but only what we can afford and then we drop subscriptions more than we add.

The survey is very misleading as it limits choices to one (for example I seek our national and international news, particularly that which does not attract the masses in six minute increments).

I read the newspaper for its in depth coverage (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and finally our flimsy and very politically bias local paper the Review Journal).

I watch CNN and for a joke turn to see what Fox is covering.

I listen to public radio over the air and on line, the BBC, have my satellite radio on various international news channels (paid lifetime subscription when I had the funds). I also read journals, on-line news services and news magazines.

But I am a junkie.

Most Americans avoid news or simply watch the entertainment ratings based local newscast.

Again, if we charge for media access we could well lose the base of an informed electorate, of our very Democracy.

The elite will continue to have a lock on our nation.


first posted 9-10-2008