How do humans cradle their companion animals? The role of brain laterality, caregiving, and protection

Bianca Hatin*, Rhianne Anderson, Amanda Simpson, Molly Murray, Annalise Gillan, Bethany Roper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation

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Our research team are investigating how people hold or position their companion animals in relation to themselves, and how this relates to emotion, caregiving, and brain laterality. There is a wealth of research on human-infant cradling which shows that, in most circumstances, a mother will cradle and hold their infant child on the left side of their body regardless of their dominant hand (e.g., Bourne & Todd, 2004; Malatesta et al., 2020). Similarly, many animal species will display this behaviour with their own infants (e.g. chimpanzees), and where species cannot physically cradle their young (such as horses and orcas), the infant will often be positioned in the left visual field of the mother (Karenina et al., 2017; 2018). Although there is a lot of research on these cradling behaviours in conspecifics (members of the same species), there is a lack of research on interspecies cradling behaviours, specifically amongst humans and their companion animals. In this talk we will present the research we have conducted to date and discuss our experiences along the way. We will end by sharing what’s next for the team.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2024
EventUniversity of Edinburgh Human Animal Research Group - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Mar 2024 → …


ConferenceUniversity of Edinburgh Human Animal Research Group
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period7/03/24 → …


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