Kuhn and colleagues evaluated how time in nature affects conditions in the brain. The researchers report that “A whole-brain analysis [conducted via MRI] revealed that time spent outdoors was positively associated with grey matter volume in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and positive affect, also after controlling for physical activity, fluid intake, free time, and hours of sunshine. Results indicate remarkable and potentially behaviorally relevant plasticity of cerebral structure within a short time frame driven by the daily time spent outdoors.
Using resources wisely
Damiano and colleagues studied the psychological implications of symmetry in natural scenes.
Recently published research confirms the value of spending time in nature.
Hong and teammates studied adding nature sounds to outdoor spaces.
Novotny and colleagues probed how children’s experiences of nature are evolving over time.
Bild and colleagues studied responses to soundscapes in public spaces.
Lymeus, Lindberg, and Hartig assessed mindfulness training in different environments.
Visits to parks and natural areas have long been known to provide mental and psychological benefits. Supporting ecological diversity within those human-managed areas is often another important goal. More research is now being done on how those two aims may differ or align.
Park probed factors linked to park use.