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I read this article but it didn't explain much. Is the fact people like to cuddle pets with fur connected anyhow with our past when our ancestors had fur as well - and therefore could evolve an instict to enjoy hugging someone furry as an expression of friendship.

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    $\begingroup$ Not only touch... animals with furs looks far far more beautiful and 'cute' than bare animals. $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ "Overwhelmingly, the infant macaques preferred spending their time clinging to the cloth mother. Even when only the wire mother could provide nourishment, the monkeys visited her only to feed. Harlow concluded that there was much more to the mother/infant relationship than milk and that this “contact comfort” was essential to the psychological development and health of infant monkeys and children. " science20.com/eye_brainstorm/infants_monkeys_love_and_ai-99925 $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ I've read about an epigenetics study on rats, though not same but similar to Harlow's experiments. learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/rats $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 9:34
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    $\begingroup$ You should include some more background from the linked article, to make this less "opinion-based" (since its currently being VTCed on these grounds now). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 7:47

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An answer I got from Jan Kolář of Charles University:

I'm not sure that people prefer fluffy things just from the fact that they are fluffy. They like things that are soft to touch such like pillows. The popularity of fluffy things might have a simple explanation: There's no danger of getting cut.

So the fact we like to cuddle with dogs and cats has probably nothing to do with our furry past.

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It's sensorily similar to "why do people love to eat crunchy things?". Shops contain thousands of the most crispy foods. Crunchy foods and fluffy material like velvet have a common attribute. that they can both generate thousands of complex nerve responses. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-4603.1995.tb00782.x

Crispy foods generate nerve responses above 5KHz, and if you feel velvet with your fingers it has a similar effect. It's a kind of vibration, perhaps what they call vibrotactile.

Today they make haptic feedback with vibrotactile actuators, like a console gamepad, which is also designed to be pleasant.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, thanks for your contribution. Have you got anything to base the hyporthesis fluffiness is similar? $\endgroup$
    – Probably
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ Also, is there really no deeper explanation when it goes to crispiness? Is it something useless evolution just hasn't got ridden of yet? $\endgroup$
    – Probably
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps there is a social element that is common to mammals. It wouls be nice if there was a mechanical or physical explanation for nerve ending, synapse and cerebral effects, but science doesn't seem to have obvioys theories for it, it's even more mysterious than tickling. $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2019 at 11:58

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