Animal Magnetism

Animal Magnetism

In previous blogs, we’ve explored the centrality and significance of the face from a variety of perspectives, romantic, creative, familial, etc. But it is not just the human animal who possesses such a hard-wired draw to the unique singularity of the face. Emerging studies reveal how several animal species are similarly face-centric in their acquisition of important data. Evidence suggests that birds, dogs and monkeys all possess the ability to recognize faces, even those from other species. And dolphins and elephants have the remarkable capacity to distinguish their own faces in the mirror. They are able, from a very young age, to discern the subtle nuances among a wide variety of faces, including their own. Like humans, animals have a distinct area of the brain that is dedicated to facial recognition. The aforementioned species, like humans, are social and, therefore, benefit from being able to discern individuals and decipher meaning from the facial expressions on their peer’s faces.

These animals enjoy the remarkable capacity to differentiate faces and extract pertinent information, which can only be revealed via the face.

The face is so central to our engagement with others because it manifests a wide variety of behavioral and social functions. Faces act as a potent form of stimuli and animals and humans alike respond to such stimuli in a host of crucial ways, only one of which is romantic attraction and desire.

Facial recognition is so critical because it seems to connect the socio-cultural cues to the neurological impulses. The brain area that specifically processes the face is located at the exact crossroads where the social, associative and emotional brain regions meet.  Thus, the brain combines with vision to help all species process the subtle and nuanced information that is often crucial to our very survival.

So, it’s not just your scent and your voice that your dog or cat is responding to, it’s your face!

Katy Perry and Russell Brand, Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, newlyweds from New York times marriage section.

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One Response to “Animal Magnetism”

  1. abigail Says:

    christina – these are three great examples! . think of you often…hang in there. abigail so

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