Rapid Facial Mimicry (RFM) is known in science as an automatic response to mimic physical gestures and facial expressions to interact with others.
Rapid Facial Mimicry (RFM) is known in science as an automatic response to mimic physical gestures and facial expressions to interact with others. It would show the ability to empathize with others by mirroring them within a fraction of a second. The best known example is the way of playing between mothers and babies. Not only we see here the highest level of RFM, but also the fastest response.
Up untill now, this property has only been observed in humans and monkeys, but this involuntary copy-behaviour from others is also seen in dogs.
The interaction between playing dogs showed during play sessions where RFM was oberved also showed a beneficial effect. In both humans and animals RFM signals as looking eachother in the eyes seem to work better when there is a mutual bond of trust between the two persons or animals. This bond is reinforced by the oxyticine that is released during this behaviour.
It has now been found that oxyticine is also released in a bond between dogs , a bond that is triggered and confirmed by the copying behaviour which is seen during game.
It seems more likely that game will stimulate a faster RFM. The playing dogs will increasingly give each other a chance to respond and therefore also get along better with other dogs when they better learn to respond appropriately to each other's body language.