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Submission + - Why Petting Feels Good (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Social beasts—humans, elephants, chimps, dogs, and cats—seem to enjoy being caressed. Neurobiologists have now taken a step toward pinpointing neural circuitry underlying this pleasant sensation. Using genetically engineered mice, they demonstrated that a specific class of sensory cells in skin reacts to gentle stroking but not to a pinch or a poke. In addition to helping to identify similar cells in people, the findings could "lead to a drug or lotion that might make you feel better," suggests the study's leader.
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Why Petting Feels Good

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Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane