Angelika B shared an article with you from Pocket

Angelika B shared with you:
The Limits of Friendship
newyorker.com
Next, in an ongoing study, Dunbar and his colleagues looked at how endorphins were activated in the brain directly, through PET scans, a procedure that lets you look at how different neural receptors uptake endorphins. The researchers saw the same thing that happened with monkeys, and that had earlier been demonstrated with humans that were viewing positive emotional stimuli: when subjects in the scanner were lightly touched, their bodies released endorphins. “We were nervous we wouldn’t find anything because the touch was so light,” Dunbar said. “Astonishingly, we saw a phenomenal response.” In fact, this makes a great deal of sense and answers a lot of long-standing questions about our sensory receptors, he explained. Our skin has a set of neurons, common to all mammals, that respond to light stroking, but not to any other kind of touch. Unlike other touch receptors, which operate on a loop—you touch a hot stove, the nerves fire a signal to the brain, the brain registers pain and fires a signal back for you to withdraw your hand—these receptors are one-way. They talk to the brain, but the brain doesn’t communicate back. “We think that’s what they exist for, to trigger endorphin responses as a consequence of grooming,” Dunbar said. Until social media can replicate that touch, it can’t fully replicate social bonding
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