Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond

Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond

by Meg Daley Olmert
     
 

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Nothing turns a baby’s head more quickly from nursing or playing than the sight of a dog or any animal. Made for Each Other lays out both sides of this deep mutual connection and the way it has evolved since prehistoric times. Drawing on the fascinating work of scientists in many fields, from neuroscience to zoology and anthropology, as well as her own

Overview

Nothing turns a baby’s head more quickly from nursing or playing than the sight of a dog or any animal. Made for Each Other lays out both sides of this deep mutual connection and the way it has evolved since prehistoric times. Drawing on the fascinating work of scientists in many fields, from neuroscience to zoology and anthropology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert shows the roots of this age-old bond and its great importance to our well being.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
TV documentary producer Olmert examines an important hormonal element in the health-giving ties of affection between humans and animals. "Long before animals were practical, they were fascinating," she writes. "Long before we wanted to eat them or ride them, we wanted to paint them and touch them." It's our natural sense of biophilia-the biological urge to connect, our ancient attraction to other creatures. A raft of contemporary scientific inquiries has identified the hormone oxytocin as a prime mover in the strong feelings of attraction, recognition and commitment between mammals, and it's also an essential genetic ingredient bonding parent with child. What is oxytocin's gift? It makes us feel good by relaxing both our physiological and psychological climates; it calms and quiets as it heightens our receptivity and awareness. Olmert has a lively voice, but she's unarguably sensible as she tracks the known effects of oxytocin release. It happens when we earnestly watch an animal go about its daily routine and the living world reveals itself. Making successful physical contact increases well-being on both sides, as the animal releases oxytocin as well. Olmert explores a variety of engagements, from paralanguages (grunts, coos, growls) to the seat-bone communication between horse and rider. She only rarely takes flights into fancy, as when she speaks of the "vague, mutual sense of recognition" that flowed between man and wolf some 400,000 years ago. She also offers some intriguing digressions, such as the role oxytocin could potentially play in understanding aspects of autism and attention-deficit disorder. A warm exploration of the bond that might just keep humans sane "until our ownspecies can settle down again and act civilized."
From the Publisher

Patricia McConnell, theotherendoftheleash.com

"I’ve finished Made for Each Other, and do indeed recommend it for people who are interested in animal behavior in general, and specifically the biology behind the relationship we have with domestic animals....It's a great read."

Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States

"Made for Each Other was, for me, the most stimulating book of the year."

Jackson Hole News & Guide (WY), 12/17/14

“Offers all kinds of thought-provoking material assembled from research, but…never reads like a dull textbook.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786744046
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
399,016
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Meg Daley Olmert, producer and writer for Emmy Award-winning series such as Smithsonian World, National Geographic Explorer, and the Discovery Channel Specials, lives on the eastern shore of Maryland.

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