Some animals have feelings too

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[EN VIDÉO] Animal intelligence: The elephant will be aware of its own body
An Asian elephant has brilliantly passed an intelligence test that a two-year-old fails: you can’t pull a rug if you’re on it. The experiment, conducted by Think Elephants International, showed that the elephant is aware of its own body, as evidenced by the mirror test. A rare ability in the animal world.

Did you know that feelings are different from feeling? This is what scientists tell us. Joy, sadness, anger and fear this emotions. Immediate, brief and irrational physiological reactions to a situation. we have brainEverything happens at the level of the amygdala. It’s that little element hidden in our brain limbic – The oldest part of our brain, the seat of our emotions – which commands the release ofhormone response to a stimulus. Then, it is our body that puts itself in it a movement. In the face of a spider, for example, he recoils or cries.

Feelings are unique to each of us. It is based on our mental representations. It can continue over time. It corresponds above all to a complex process that takes place in Dandruff. The Thing ashen. This is the area of ​​the brain in which functions such as memory, thinking, language, or awareness are played. And then it is at this level that angerwhich is already an emotion that, if suppressed, can turn into hatred, which is a feeling.

But then, are animals able to test emotions? here big question within the scientific community. It must be said that, for more than forty years, researchers first argued the question of emotions. Today, behavioral scientists suggest that emotion has three components. First, it has a physiological component that determines how the body reacts to a stimulus. Then there is the behavioral component that allows you to express your feelings. Finally, there is still a cognitive component that leads to a particular choice. On this basis, researchers have shown that many animal species experience emotions. Physiological measurements – such as heart rate – or behavioral observations – ear position or tail position – can tell scientists about this. There is evidence, for example, that elephants feel sad when faced with the loss of one. Dogs feel joy when their human comes home after a day at work.

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Awareness of self and others is at the heart of the problem

When it comes to feelings, things get complicated. Because, by definition, they are to some extent the subjective interpretation of emotions. They arise from the fact that we are able to identify the causes and effects of emotions. For researchers studying humans, there is the possibility of asking questions – all at the risk of getting socially acceptable answers or simply wrong ones, because it is not always clear to correctly identify even his feelings. But the animals themselves are unable to respond.

And if the secret of feelings ultimately lies in the ability to take them self conscious? Maybe a little more in the ability to embrace other people’s point of view? This is the hypothesis supported by some behavioral scientists. But there are animals that are now known to be conscious of their bodies. It is also known for copying and interpreting other people’s feelings, sharing their desires and even understanding what others think. Yes yes, you read that correctly. Experiment performed great monkeys, our close cousins, of course, but it was crucial. They have shown themselves to be able to understand wrong bleives. That man is looking for something in the last place he saw it. Although the monkeys saw the movement of the object in question.

To find out whether and how animals interpret their emotions subjectively into feelings, researchers will still need to conduct further studies. Multi-method studies can combine behavioral and cognitive observations, neurophysiological and hormonal data, for example. Meanwhile, behavioral scientists suggest the assumption that animals are indeed blessed with feelings, until proven otherwise. If only to be able to better meet their needs. Suggestion… not too stupid!

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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