Moms talk, daughters' hormones listen

A comforting voice packs a biological punch that instant messages lack

By Bruce Bower, 11:44 AM August 12, 2011

Now hear this: A mother’s encouraging words heard over the phone biologically aid her stressed-out daughter about as much as in-person comforting from mom and way more than receiving instant messages from her.

That’s consistent with the idea that people and many other animals have evolved to respond to caring, familiar voices with hormonal adjustments that prompt feelings of calm and closeness, say biological anthropologist Leslie Seltzer of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her colle...

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