Have you ever looked at your pet and detected excitement, sadness, or guilt? Such interactions indicate not only your pet expressing an emotion, but also you reacting to it. This ability is crucial for a social animal’s survival, but can it work between species?
Stress responses, typically popularized as outdated reactions to stressors such as cave bears, are far too brief and infrequent to make us sick. Yet, science still focuses on these responses, failing to explain the chronic high stress levels that can influence health and cause disease.
The stress response system is highly adaptive, and has kept humans, zebras, and calves alive through history. But today it leaves humans in distress, whereas zebras are fine. And calves suffer stress as humans do… but for a different reason: humans themselves.
Meeting a friend in Covid-19 times has little to do with an intimate chat in a bar. Instead, video calls have become the new medium to share our innermost feelings. But can these moments of online face-to-face communication replace the ‘real’ offline experience?