Natural Settings Help Brain Fatigue

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by gapsych, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I am not sure if this is where this post belongs, however I feel I am suffering a "nature deficit" and even though it is only October, "cabin fever". Yet, I am often too fatigued to get out or to travel.

    Anyone else?

    October 27, 2008, 1:18 pm

    Natural Settings Help Brain Fatigue
    By Tara Parker-Pope
    A restorative view of the Hudson River Valley. (Chris Ramirez for The New York Times)
    After a recent post about using natural settings to help children with attention deficit disorder, several readers wrote in wondering whether many of us may be suffering from a “nature deficit.”

    As it turns out, everyone appears to benefit from the restorative powers of nature. I recently spoke about “attention restoration theory” with Andrea Faber Taylor, a child environment and behavior researcher at the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As she explained, the human brain has two forms of attention: “directed” attention, which is what we use most of the time to concentrate on work, studies and tests, and “involuntary” attention, which is what occurs when we automatically respond to things like running water, crying babies or wild animals.

    The problem is that directed attention is a finite resource — everyone has experienced the fatigue of taking a test or a big project at work. Attention restoration theory suggests that walks in nature and views of green space capture our involuntary attention, giving our directed attention a needed rest.

    “We advocate that children be given views of green space from the classroom,” Dr. Faber Taylor said. “We’ve done research on children in public housing that shows the ones who have a green view perform better.”

    Dr. Faber Taylor notes that in adults, there is also evidence that a green view is beneficial. She says that while many researchers continue to study the topic, the benefits of natural settings are obvious to most people.

    “Most people recognize the pattern,” she said. “For so long we have ignored the effect our physical environments have on our ability to pay attention.”

    To hear more about attention restoration theory and the effect of natural settings on children and adults, listen to the rest of my conversation with Dr. Faber Taylor by clicking on the podcast link below.

    Listen to the Podcast (mp3)
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    [This Message was Edited on 10/28/2008]
  2. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Hi Gap!

    I had to move while sick with ME, and purposefully chose a place with big windows and views of treetops. I do find it very helpful to have this view given my problems with sensory overload.

    Recently, I discovered there is a a five acre park not far from me. If the weather (and my body)cooperates, I will try to get there.