Spoiler Alert: It's the Same Thing That Happens When You See Your Children
In a small study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, researchers looked at MRIs of mothers who saw pictures of their children and pictures of their dogs. The same areas of the brain are activated in both cases--the parts responsible for love, emotion, and bonding. These areas of the brain did not light up when the mothers saw pictures of other people's children or other dogs.
A few important takeaways:
1. It only examined mothers. There is no reason to believe that fathers would react differently, though.
2. It only looked at dogs. It is possible people might react differently to different pets.
3. If I were you, I wouldn't tell your kids you love the dog as much as them.
4. Count how many times I was able to get Kim Christiansen and Christine Noel to say "fur babies" on the air.
Click here to read my full write-up of the study at www.9news.com.