Monday, December 22, 2008

Nature and brainpower

Being in nature can improve people's memory and attention according to research carried out by psychologists from the University of Michigan. Participants in the research completed a task designed to test their memory and attention; they then went for a walk either in a park or in central Ann Arbor. After their walk the participants returned to the lab and were retested on the task. Those who had taken a walk in the park showed a greatly improved performance but those who had walked in the city showed no improvement. A second group of participants took part in a similar experiment but this time instead of going for a walk they were simply shown photographs of either an urban or a natural environment before retaking the tests. The group who were shown the nature photographs did much better on the second test than the other group. The authors suggested that this could be because urban environments provide a relatively complex and often confusing pattern of stimulation which requires effort to sort out and interpret.

You can find out more about this research by clicking on the link in the title of this post.

No comments: