It's time to go again to the A Moment of Science mail bag.
A listener writes:
Dear A Moment of Science, I've heard that owning a dog or cat can be a good way to deal with stress and ward off depression.
So I was wondering–is it interacting with actual pets that's beneficial, or would just looking at pictures of cats and dogs work to curb stress?
Interesting question! Actually owning a pet is different from merely looking at pictures of cute puppies and kittens, certainly.
Stress relief has a lot to do with the companionship that real pets provide.
But one study showed that watching videos of animals can help reduce stress.
And according to the study by researchers in Japan, looking at pictures of cute animals does appear to help us focus and concentrate.