Petting A Dog Is Good For Your Brain
As if we needed another reason to love them more ❤️
Dog parents already know that petting a dog is one of the best things ever.
And as it turns out, science agrees. While some studies have shown that petting a dog can both lower your stress and release the “feel good” hormone, oxytocin, new research suggests that petting a dog is good for your brain in other ways, too.
Scientists in Switzerland claim in a new study that when you pet a dog, you can get a boost of brain activity in the frontal cortex — a crucial part of the brain that controls attention, working memory, problem-solving, thinking and emotional reactions.
During the study, participants hung around a pup while fitted with a scanner. They started out just watching the dog from across the room, gradually getting closer until they could pet him. Then they did the same thing with a stuffed animal.
And when comparing both scenarios, researchers discovered there was a stronger boost of brain activity when the real dog was nearby and available for a few pets.
This study just goes to show how great therapy animals truly are, since they can boost the cognitive and emotional activity in the brain of their human in ways a stuffed animal can’t.
“If patients with deficits in motivation, attention and socioemotional functioning show higher emotional involvement in activities connected to a dog, then such activities could increase the chance of learning and of achieving therapeutic aims,” study lead author, Rahel Marti, told CNN.
While pet parents already know just how awesome petting a dog is, it’s good to know the positives of bonding with a pup are endless — just like their love for us.