How nature affects brain structure?
Previously, a study in Australia had found that living in nearby sea shore helps reduce stress and depression incidents.
It was one of the pieces of evidence that points out the good impact of mother-nature in human health.
Another study solidifies the previous claim. The group of researchers led by Ms. Simone Kühn found that people who live nearby forests have healthier brain structure specifically the amygdala.
The amygdala is a brain structure that is responsible for processing emotional responses such as fear and stress.
The researchers suggest that living near or between trees can help reduce stress.
The conclusion was drawn from the data retrieved from the senior participants aged 61 to 82.
Ms. Simone Kühn, the leading author concluded:
“Research on brain plasticity supports the assumption that the environment can shape brain structure and function.
That is why we are interested in the environmental conditions that may have positive effects on the brain development.
Studies of people in the countryside have already shown that living close to nature is good for their mental health and well-being.
We, therefore, decided to examine city dwellers.”
The evidence becomes stronger – living nearby mother-nature is good for the health.
It could be that the tranquillity of nature helps the brain to relax. The relaxed state of mind has a positive effect on the whole human biology.
The co-author of the study, Professor Ulman Lindenberger said:
“Our study investigates the connection between urban planning features and brain health for the first time.
By 2015, almost 70 percent of the world population is expected to be living in cities.
These results could, therefore, be very important for urban planning.
In the near future, however, the observed association between the brain and closeness to forests would need to be confirmed in further studies and other cities.”
Another implication of the finding is that people don’t need to spend money to relax. A simple visit to a public park or forest is enough to have a stress free mind and healthy body.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.