April 3, 2013
An innovative new study from Scotland confirms the observation that you can ease brain fatigue simply by strolling through a leafy park, The New York Times reports.
Researchers have long theorized that green spaces are calming, requiring less of our so-called directed mental attention than busy, urban streets do, but it had not been possible to study the brains of people while they were actually outside, moving through the city and the parks.
But researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh attached new, portable EEG electrodes to the scalps of 12 healthy young adults, connected to a laptops carried in a backpack for each volunteer, then sent each volunteer out on a short walk of about a mile and half that wound through three different sections of Edinburgh: a historic shopping district, a busy commercial district, and a park-like setting.
What they found confirmed the idea that green spaces lessen brain fatigue.