Dogs are good for our brains, study finds

Dogs are good for our brains, study finds

If you are hesitant about welcoming a doggie into your home, here is some information that will convince you. A study, published in the journal PLOS One, affirms that the company of dogs has many advantages. In particular, it would have very beneficial effects on our brain.

Researchers affiliated with Konkuk University in South Korea reached this conclusion after conducting an experiment with thirty adults. They asked them to do eight different activities, each lasting three minutes, with a four-year-old female poodle. They had, for example, to feed her, play with her or even take her for a walk. Throughout the experiment, volunteers wore electroencephalography electrodes to record their brain electrical activity. After spending time with the poodle, participants were asked to answer several questionnaires to assess their emotional state and stress levels.

It appeared that the participants' brains emitted more alpha waves when they played with the poodle or walked it. These waves are known to be associated with a state of mild relaxation, suggesting that the volunteers felt particularly relaxed when interacting with the dog in this way. A theory that the questionnaires confirmed.

The researchers also found a majority of beta-type waves when the individuals played with, stroked or combed the poodle. The brain emits these rapid waves when it is in active wakefulness. We can therefore conclude that the participants were more concentrated when they engaged in these activities, as we can read in the study.

Generally speaking, everything suggests that the volunteers were cognitively stimulated when they interacted with the dog. Their responses to the questionnaires indicated that they felt less tired, stressed and depressed. “This research shows that practicing certain activities with a dog can promote relaxation, emotional stability, attention, concentration and creativity while stimulating brain activity“, conclude the researchers. Proof, if one were still needed, that doggies fully deserve their title of man's best friend.