It's official, nature beats cities | High Sierra Topix  

It's official, nature beats cities

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It's official, nature beats cities

Postby gdurkee » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:30 am

Long, but well worth reading:

The reason such seemingly trivial mental tasks leave us depleted is that they exploit one of the crucial weak spots of the brain. A city is so overstuffed with stimuli that we need to constantly redirect our attention so that we aren't distracted by irrelevant things, like a flashing neon sign or the cellphone conversation of a nearby passenger on the bus. This sort of controlled perception -- we are telling the mind what to pay attention to -- takes energy and effort. The mind is like a powerful supercomputer, but the act of paying attention consumes much of its processing power.

Natural settings, in contrast, don't require the same amount of cognitive effort.


http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/01/04/how_the_city_hurts_your_brain/

Also this:

University of Michigan psychology research in the December issue of Psychological Science explored the cognitive benefits of interacting with nature and found that walking in a park in any season, or even viewing pictures of nature, can help improve memory and attention.


http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=6892

g.



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Re: It's official, nature beats cities

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:25 am

George,

I think this is stated what so many of us have noticed and why so many of us like to head for the hills. I believe the hyperstimulation of "civilization" has become worse with time and we are seeing the affects in students and in the professional workplace. Educators will talk about this constantly: why does the average student seem to have a much shorter attention span than say two decades ago--and this means students of all ages from K-12 through college. Many of us will come up with various ad hoc theories over a cup of coffee or over a pint of beer that have no basis in systematic scientific studies (I'm as guilty as the next person). In any case, I think that the outdoors are even more the antidote for civilization today than in the past.

Cheers,

John
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: It's official, nature beats cities

Postby oldranger » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:49 am

George

Natural settings, in contrast, don't require the same amount of cognitive effort.


Is that assumption why some people get lost and do stupid things in the backcountry?

???????

mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: It's official, nature beats cities

Postby gdurkee » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:06 pm

Is that assumption why some people get lost and do stupid things in the backcountry?


au contraire, they are so totally blissed out, they wander off into their own dreams, leaving it to an equally blissed out ranger to follow that faint spoor. Think the Lost Boys and TInkerbell.

g.
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Re: It's official, nature beats cities

Postby rlown » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:38 pm

We used to get lost (before GPS) when we stopped in some obscure off-trail bowl out of site of any landmarks and we'd huddle around the map and argue about where we really were for a good 20 mins.

In my experience, how lost you get is directly proportional to how many people look at the map. Granted most of my hiking companions are from the city. I don't let them look at the map anymore. [-X

Russ
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