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The nature cure: how time outdoors transforms our memory, imagination and logic

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The emerging field of environmental neuroscience highlights the profound impact of nature on the human brain. Studies demonstrate that exposure to natural environments, characterized by greenery and moving water, significantly reduces stress and improves mood, cognitive function, and creativity

🔭 The context: Humans have an innate connection to nature, a concept known as the biophilia hypothesis. Our brains and bodies, evolved in natural environments, respond positively to nature
• This connection is vital in today's high-stress, urbanized living, which often leads to elevated stress responses inappropriate for modern challenges.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Experiencing nature activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting calmness and wellbeing, essential for clear and positive thinking
• This natural exposure is not just a luxury but a necessity for optimal brain function, highlighting the importance of preserving and integrating natural environments in urban settings

⏭️ What's next: Researchers are investigating the specific aspects of natural environments that offer the most benefits
• There's a focus on incorporating natural elements like fractals and curved lines into urban design to mimic the cognitive benefits of real nature. However, the necessity of actual nature exposure remains paramount.

💬 One quote: "We're not trying to create a nature pill," says Dr. Marc Berman, emphasizing the significance of real-world nature over simulated experiences

📈 One stat: A study showed a 50% increase in creativity following a four-day hike without technology, using the Remote Associates Test, a measure of creative thinking

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