Friday, October 28, 2016

Interconnected Nature, Scientific Evidence of Empathy in Animals: Mice Smell and Share Each Other's Pain

(Stillness in the Storm Editor) While most of modern society has blinded itself to interconnectedness, the natural world is founded on it. All things share a common bond of awareness, the metaphysical unifier of the very small and the very large. The reality of oneness and interconnectedness is self-evident, expressed through many venues that demonstrate the ever flowing fractal nature of living harmonies in the universe. In the animal and plant world, these principles take form in chemical interactions like the release of substances that alert other organisms to the state of being of another. Cleve Backster's pioneering work into the nature of plant communication is just one example.

The below studies reveal that pain sensitivity seems to transfer in mice using smell. Animals presumably lack cognition to trigger mirror neuron responses—the brain cells in humans that form the biological basis of empathy—smell could be one method for triggering this essential social trait in creatures.

From a cosmic perspective of consciousness, mechanisms of evolution provide for ever increasing sensitivity to other organisms, what we experience as empathy. If certain researchers and theories are to be believed, the more consciousness evolves the more sensitive it becomes, increasing the capacity for awareness to charge a being with mental and emotional energy for changing behavior. That is to say, animals receive empathic data via chemical means, and so do humans, which also possess the ability to cognize empathy at a more than chemical level. And eventually, telepathic sensitivities are developed, which we are already acknowledged in the form of remote viewing, allowing for highly evolved beings to perceive the states of others by extrasensory means.

The natural law principle of correspondence (as above, so below; as within, so without) is present everywhere one cares to look.

Thanks Derrick for sharing this with me.

- Justin

Source - Science News

by Laura Sanders, October 19th 2016

Olfactory signal suspected as way hurt sensitivity is transmitted mouse-to-mouse. 

Pain is contagious, at least for mice. After encountering bedding where mice in pain had slept, other mice became more sensitive to pain themselves. The experiment, described online October 19 in Science Advances, shows that pain can move from one animal to another — no injury or illness required.

Related The Heart Has Its Own ‘Brain’ and Consciousness -- Doctors and Scientists Reveal

The results “add to a growing body of research showing that animals communicate distress and are affected by the distress of others,” says neuroscientist Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal of the University of California, Berkeley.

Neuroscientist Andrey Ryabinin and colleagues didn’t set out to study pain transfer. But the researchers noticed something curious during their experiments on mice who were undergoing alcohol withdrawal. Mice in the throes of withdrawal have a higher sensitivity to pokes on the foot. And surprisingly, so did these mice’s perfectly healthy cagemates. “We realized that there was some transfer of information about pain” from injured mouse to bystander, says Ryabinin, of Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland.

When mice suffered from alcohol withdrawal, morphine withdrawal or an inflaming injection, they become more sensitive to a poke in the paw with a thin fiber — a touchy reaction that signals a decreased pain tolerance. Mice that had been housed in the same cage with the mice in pain also grew more sensitive to the poke, Ryabinin and colleagues found. These bystander mice showed other signs of heightened pain sensitivity, such as quickly pulling their tails out of hot water and licking a paw after an irritating shot.

The results are compelling evidence for the social transmission of pain, says neuroscientist Christian Keysers of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam.

Pain’s contagion seemed to spread through the nose, further experiments revealed. After spending time with bedding used by mice in pain, healthy mice’s pain sensitivity went up. Some olfactory signals may have been transferred from the pained mouse onto the bedding before a mouse not experiencing pain showed up and began sniffing around. Ryabinin and colleagues are looking for compounds that might carry this pain signal mouse-to-mouse

Implications for people are unknown. Humans’ olfactory skills fall short of other animals’, so it’s unclear whether odors can actually transmit information about pain, Ryabinin says.

While the data suggest that scent signals can carry the pain message, Keysers points out that other senses, such as hearing or vision, may be important too. Mice could see their compatriot in distress or hear pained squeaks. Still, the new paper fits with other work that shows “rodents exchange information about their states in many exciting and complex ways,” Keysers says.

A better understanding of the various ways animals can become more sensitive to pain may help explain more generally why pain comes and goes. The results suggest that sometimes, “there is no need for a specific injury for an animal to feel pain,” Ryabinin says. Instead, social factors or cues can influence pain perception. That idea may help explain the experience of some people who suffer from chronic pain, a condition that can begin mysteriously or persist long after an injury heals.
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