Favorite

New Research Confirms: Petting a Dog Is Like a Drug For Our Brain

It turns out that petting a dog impacts your brain in a pretty amazing way which can explain why so many people find it a calming experience and it's just one more way that dogs make our lives better. Via: Iheartdogs

Share
Tweet
Stumble
Pin It
Email
  • 1

    How Our Brain Interprets different Stimuli

    Cheezburger Image 9268002048
    Pin It
    Via vetstreet

    Our brains actually divide the things we experience on our skin into "pleasant", "neutral" and "unpleasant touching". Our brains interpret these stimuli in different ways, and experiencing a nice sensation on our skin is tied to activity in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex. That area is responsible for a lot of our emotional processing, so when we feel something pleasant on our skin, we respond with emotionally positive feelings. This goes for all types of enjoyable sensations, including touching fabrics and running our fingers through coffee beans — but playing with animals involve other responses that make them particularly positive for us.


  • 2

    How Petting a dog impacts our brain

    Cheezburger Image 9268004096
    Pin It

    Petting a dog also releases serotonin and dopamine, two feel-good chemicals that can improve your mood. Serotonin and dopamine levels are often low in people who suffer from depression, so having a dog can help improve symptoms in depression sufferers. Better than that, staring in the eyes of a dog you know releases oxytocin – the hormone that helps bond a mother and child.


  • 3

    And the reason we respond so strongly to petting dogs, it seems, is also grounded in the importance of touch to humans.

    Cheezburger Image 9268006144
    Pin It

    We respond a lot to touch in social situations, use it to bond with others, and can experience reductions in pain and anxiety when we're touched by those we trust and love. Touching isn't just a sensation; it's a means of communication and bonding. We bond strongly with our pets in part because we have physical relationships with them that allow for the exchange of touch. They sniff, lick, rub against and sit on us, we pet them, and the bond between the two species is strengthened.


  • 4

    How Dogs Affect Our Bodies

    Cheezburger Image 9268007680
    Pin It

    Therapy dogs have been proven to reduce the stress in students taking exams, people grieving the loss of a loved one, children in the hospital, and people traveling through airports. Stress releases cortisol into your bloodstream, a hormone that can cause all sorts of negative impacts on your body. Petting dogs has been shown to decrease the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream.

  • -
  • Vote
  • -
Share
Tweet
Stumble
Pin It
Email
  • Reposted by
  • Grindlees1's avatar
  • rudyfrend's avatar

Next on I Can Has Cheezburger?

What Did The Fish Do? Fish Shaming At Its Best
Comments - Click to show - Click to hide