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Commentary: Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human–dog bonds

Kekecs, Zoltan ; Szollosi, Aba ; Palfi, Bence ; Szaszi, Barnabas ; Kovacs, Krisztina J ; Dienes, Zoltan ; Aczel, Balazs

Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2016, Vol.10 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Commentary: Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human–dog bonds
  • Author/Creator: Kekecs, Zoltan ; Szollosi, Aba ; Palfi, Bence ; Szaszi, Barnabas ; Kovacs, Krisztina J ; Dienes, Zoltan ; Aczel, Balazs
  • Subjects: Psychology ; Oxytocin ; Human–Dog Co-Evolution ; Hand-Reared Wolves
  • Is Part Of: Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2016, Vol.10
  • Description: The sex effect on oxytocin change (female owner vs. male owner, χ2 = 3.69, df = 1, p = 0.054, proportion of pairs supporting the alternative hypothesis = 0.69) is in fact larger than the effect of the species (dog owners vs. wolf owners, χ2 = 0.19, df = 1, p = 0.662, proportion of pairs supporting the alternative hypothesis = 0.54). [...]sex differences provide an alternative explanation for the finding that oxytocin increase was significantly higher in the owners of LG dogs compared to wolves. Additionally, there was a significant difference in the baseline oxytocin values of the dog and wolf owners (χ2 = 4.67, df = 1, p = 0.031). [...]the apparent difference between dogs and wolf in inducing an oxytocin response in humans may be simply due to a ceiling effect. [...]results are hard to interpret because of the extremely low statistical power. A Bayes factor on the r = 0 for wolves indicates that due to the low sample size, the data are insensitive and do not provide evidence for the null hypothesis [BH(0, Fisher's z(0.60)) = 0.51; see (Dienes, 2014)], and that at least 26 wolves would be required for a sensitive test [BH(0, Fisher's z(0.60)) = 0.33] to provide evidence against correlation between oxytocin change in owners and duration of animal-to-owner gaze.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 1662-4548 ; E-ISSN: 1662-453X ; DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00155 ; PMCID: 4826871 ; PMID: 27147947