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

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Nagasawa, Miho; Mitsui, Shouhei; En, Shiori; Ohtani, Nobuyo; Ohta, Mitsuaki; Sakuma, Yasuo; Onaka, Tatsushi; Mogi, Kazutaka; Kikusui, Takefumi
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Science
Volume: 348
Issue: 6232
Pagination: 333-6
Date Published: 2015 Apr 17
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1095-9203
Keywords: Animals, Animals, Domestic, Biological Evolution, Bonding, Human-Pet, Communication, Dogs, Female, Fixation, Ocular, Humans, Oxytocin, Wolves

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
Alternate Journal: Science
Related MOCA Topics: