Study says petting dogs is good for the brain

A new study shows petting a dog showed a boost in brain activity, supporting the case for the...
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT
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(CNN) - There’s a reason dogs are called “man’s best friend.” It turns out that petting them is good for our brains.

Petting a dog showed a boost in brain activity, according to a study recently published in the journal PLOS One.

In the study, researchers put brain scanners on people and had them pet a stuffed animal and a live dog.

They found there was a big boost in brain activity when the person got to pet the puppy versus the stuffed animal.

The boost was specifically the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that handles how we think and feel.

As soft and cute as a stuffed animal may be, researchers believe the real animal creates some emotional involvement and that is what activates the brain.

The research supports using animal therapy to help people with everything from emotional issues to nervous system conditions, like strokes, seizure disorders, brain trauma and infections.