touch = love ?

psychologist harry harlow did some amazing experiments in the 50s where infant monkeys were allowed to choose between surrogate lactating mothers made of soft or hard materials (pictured) and they inevitably chose the softer cloth mothers, even though both surrogates produced milk. monkeys who could see their real mothers, but not touch them, developed social disorders. can it be better to touch a virtual mother than to communicate purely visually with a real mother? wow. read his ‘on the nature of love’ here>

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  1. Posted February 3, 2006 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The other interesting conclusion of this study was the severe psychological and social problems the monkeys displayed AFTER the experiment. They tended to be moody, violent, and still prefer interaction with their artificial mothers rather than real monkeys.

    Sometimes touch isn’t quite enough.

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