Monday, 18 September 2017

Looking stressed can help keep the peace

First research to suggest scratching may have evolved as a communication tool to help social cohesion
Date: September 11, 2017
Source: University of Portsmouth
Summary:
Scratching may have evolved as a communication tool to help social cohesion, new research suggests for the first time.
Scratching is more than an itch -- when it is sparked by stress, it appears to reduce aggression from others and lessen the chance of conflict.
Scratching can be a sign of stress in many primates, including humans.
Research by Jamie Whitehouse from the University of Portsmouth, is the first to suggest that these stress behaviours can be responded to by others, and that they might have evolved as a communication tool to help social cohesion.
The research, published in Scientific Reports, raises the question whether human scratching and similar self-directed stress behaviours serve a similar function.


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