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New study shows petting a dog boosts brain activity

Study: Petting dogs boosts brain activity
Study: Petting dogs boosts brain activity 00:51

MIAMI – If you're looking for a reason to get yourself a furry friend -- how about this?

A new study has found that petting a dog actually boosts brain activity!

Researchers put brain scanners on people and had them pet a stuffed animal and a live dog.

The study found that there was a big boost in brain activity when the person got to pet the pup, specifically in the frontal cortex.

That's the part of the brain that handles how we think and feel.

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

The research supports the use of animal therapy to help people suffering with everything from emotional issues to nervous conditions.

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