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Lonely dogs’ brains shrink due to boredom, scientist warns

GREG WILFORD: ‘Research has indicated that dogs become distressed by chronic boredom and can suffer adverse effects from a lack of stimulation… “Stimulation for animals, like humans, is not a luxury but a necessity”, says animal welfare expert Charlotte Burn, who has raised concerns over shrinking brains… Cattle and animals in zoos can also suffer if they are kept in dull surroundings with little to interest them, it is claimed… She told The Times: “They often yawn, bark, howl and whine. Some sleep a lot – a sign of apathy. Some of this is anxiety but often they are just really bored. “Boredom has long been thought of as a solely human emotion but animals suffer from it too. Research shows that being kept in barren environments without stimulation damages the brain. “Neurones die off if not stimulated, so the brains of such animals tend to be smaller with fewer synapses.” Ms Burn said “wild and domesticated animals are at particular risk in captivity, which is often spatially and temporally monotonous” in her paper, which was published in the journal Animal Behaviour’. SOURCE…

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