Illis : Animals like food, but they crave SEEKING.
Animals like food, but they crave SEEKINGSEEKING system There is a part of the brain called the ventral striatum, aka the "seeking system," that drives humans to explore and learn new things. When activated, the system releases dopamine and makes us feel good. .
Haver you heard of contrafreeloading? It’s when animals work for food even when it’s freely available.
Actually they prefer to do that: scientific studies have shown that as a general rule, animals would rather work on a food puzzle than have the same food served on a plate.
When you’re eating, you’re doing consummatory behaviour.
When in SEEKING mode, you’re doing appetitive behaviour: searching, exploring, sniffing, digging, hunting.
Appetitive behaviour involves a dopamine surge in the brain. So while in SEEKING mode, you get this dopamine fix.
When eating, you snap out of appetitive mode into consummatory mode, and then the dopamine levels in your brain actually go down. Dopamine is a major feel-good chemical in the brain, which is why SEEKING is preferred over having just food freely accessible.
So, how do you feed your animals?