Cuddling with a stuffed animal is good for your brain but cuddling with a real dog is even better, according to a recent study.
Researchers compared oxygen levels in the brain of people who “interacted” with plush animals versus people who “interacted” with real dogs. They found that both types of cuddling increased the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin but the increase was higher for the group that had real dogs.
The researchers studied the prefrontal cortex because they said that “this brain area is involved in several executive functions, such as attention, working memory, and problem-solving. But it is also involved in social and emotional processes.”
It’s sweet to think that your real pet can help stimulate your own well being but so can your child’s stuffed lovey. Or your own stuffed lovey if you still sleep with one. No judgment!