Puppy Love: The Science of the Dog – Human Bond

IMG_2170They love us, they help us, they often entertain us – any way you look at it, dogs are an important part of human life.   Whether they are bringing us joy as members of the family, using their keen sense of smell in forensic efforts, or helping people with disabilities navigate their lives with more ease, dogs enrich our lives daily (just check out the face on Science is Sexy’s resident pooch, Bagels the beagle, if you need to be convinced).  Dogs and humans have been companions for an estimated 30,000 years, but science is only beginning to reveal why dogs bond with us so deeply, and why we bond with our dogs.   Science is Sexy is pleased to partner with our friends at the Brain Research Foundation, Canine Therapy Corps and the Anti-Cruelty Society to bring you a fascinating spring program about the neuroscience of the bond between humans and dogs.

jacobsonThere is growing evidence that the human-animal bond positively influences human emotional and behavioral healt_73119909_68588h, but not much is known about the biological mechanisms that underlie those benefits.  At the University of Chicago, Kristen Jacobson, Ph.D. is at the forefront of this research to understand why dogs have such positive impacts on our health and happiness.   Dr. Jacobsen studies human-animal interaction (HAI), which is helping us better understand science behind the human bond to dogs and how it supports our f207ccb96bd089b4e3f5bf5f32bf1cbfneurobiological and psychological well-being.   Through  behavioral, genetic, and neurobiological studies, including functional MRI, Dr. Jacobsen is learning about how down time with man’s best friend affects our stress hormones, what parts of the brain cause us to bond to our pooches, and even why people and their dogs behave similarly over time.

10176922_1436904953215261_1346939534_o(1)Not only will you have the opportunity to spend an evening  with one of Chicago’s leading scientists, you’ll also be able to enjoy  the company of several therapy dogs in attendance from Canine Therapy Corps.  These gentle, brilliant dogs motivate individuals recovering from physical and emotional trauma to overcome difficult circumstances including disabilities, injuries, or other challenges, by providing goal-directed, interactive therapy as part of the treatment or rehabilitation process.  There’s just no way that you won’t head home happier and more relaxed after petting their sweet faces!

The event is free, but we’ll be accepting donations to support the great work of Canine Therapy Corps and the Anti-Cruelty Society.   Don’t miss this special opportunity to see what happens when science goes to the dogs!

DATE: May 29, 2014

TIME: 6:30-7:30 PM – talk and Q&A

7:30-8:00 PM (chat with the scientist and get to know the dogs)

LOCATION:  Anti-Cruelty Society (169 W. Grand Ave.)

Free Parking on Wells St.

Brown Line to Merchandise Mart or Red Line to Grand

21+, no Pre-Registration Required


BRFLogoScience is Sexy is proud to partner with The Brain Research Foundation and the Canine Therapy Corps.  The Brain Research Foundation supports neuroscience research that leads to advanced understanding of brain function in children and adults. The Foundation is committed to advancing discoveries that will lead to novel treatments and prevention of all neurological diseases. The BRF delivers this commitment through both research grant programs, which provide initial funding for innovative research projects, as well as educational programs for researchers and the general public.  Visit the Brain Research Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

logo-brandThe Canine Therapy Corps empowers and motivates individuals to improve their physical and psychological health and well-being by harnessing the human-animal bond.  Additionally, they provide goal-directed, interactive, animal-assisted therapy services, free of charge, using volunteers and certified therapy dogs, while working to advance animal assisted interventions through research and collaboration.   To learn more about the work of the Canine Therapy Corps, please visit them on Twitter and Facebook.

About Science is Sexy and Night Lab

Molecular Geneticist and Cell Biologist Stephanie Levi, Ph.D. has a passion for making science enjoyable and accessible for the general public, and created Night Lab to bring educational and entertaining science programming to adults in Chicago in November 2008. Night Lab is designed to give non-scientists a short and sweet taste of science in their everyday lives, highlighting the people and organizations that make Chicago a rockstar city for science.  While offering adults in the city innovative opportunities to engage in the excitement and beauty of science, our programs give members of Chicago’s science community a fantastic way to connect to the rest of the city outside of the lab.  Our programs are perfect for people who flunked chemistry, think genes come from The Gap, or think “that’s hard!” when they hear the word molecular.  Whether you are just curious about science or a professional scientist, Night Lab is for you.

Visit the Science is Sexy website for a blog, our press, information about workshops, career development opportunities for scientists, and more science fun!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “Puppy Love: The Science of the Dog – Human Bond

  1. I wish I was in the area so that I could go too! It’s going to be a great event! Also reminds me of this article I saw the other day that explained how dogs became our companions due to a hormonal bonding effect:


Leave a Reply to Nikta Fay, Ph.D. (@niktafay) Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s