Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier

04.10.2017, 11:12 | Wissenschaft | Autor: | Jetzt kommentieren


A study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has investigated the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers’ homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others.

Noise, pollution, and many people in a confined space: Life in a city can cause chronic stress. City dwellers are at a higher risk of psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia than country dwellers. Comparisons show higher activity levels in city dwellers’ than in country dwellers’ amygdala — a central nucleus in the brain that plays an important role in stress processing and reactions to danger. Which factors can have a protective influence? A research team led by psychologist Simone Kühn has examined which effects nature near people’s homes such as forest, urban green, or wasteland has on stress-processing brain regions such as the amygdala. „Research on brain plasticity supports the assumption that the environment can shape brain structure and function. That is why we are interested in the environmental conditions that may have positive effects on brain development. Studies of people in the countryside have already shown that living close to nature is good for their mental health and well-being. We therefore decided to examine city dwellers,“ explains first author Simone Kühn, who led the study at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and now works at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

Indeed, the researchers found a relationship between place of residence and brain health: those city dwellers living close to a forest were more likely to show indications of a physiologically healthy amygdala structure und were therefore presumably better able to cope with stress. This effect remained stable when differences in educational qualifications and income levels were controlled for. However, it was not possible to find an association between the examined brain regions and urban green, water, or wasteland. With these data, it is not possible to distinguish whether living close to a forest really has positive effects on the amygdala or whether people with a healthier amygdala might be more likely to select residential areas close to a forest. Based on present knowledge, however, the researchers regard the first explanation as more probable. Further longitudinal studies are necessary to accumulate evidence.

The participants in the present study are from the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) – a larger longitudinal study examining the physical, psychological, and social conditions for healthy aging. In total, 341 adults aged 61 to 82 years took part in the present study. Apart from carrying out memory and reasoning tests, the structure of stress-processing brain regions, especially the amygdala, was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In order to examine the influence of nature close to peoples’ homes on these brain regions, the researchers combined the MRI data with geoinformation about the participants’ places of residence. This information stemmed from the European Environment Agency’s Urban Atlas, which provides an overview of urban land use in Europe.

„Our study investigates the connection between urban planning features and brain health for the first time,“ says co-author Ulman Lindenberger, Director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. By 2050, almost 70 percent of the world population is expected to be living in cities. These results could therefore be very important for urban planning. In the near future, however, the observed association between the brain and closeness to forests would need to be confirmed in further studies and other cities, stated Ulman Lindenberger.

---

Original Publication
Kühn, S., Düzel, S., Eibich, P., Krekel, C., Wüstemann, H., Kolbe, J., Mårtensson, J., Goebel, J., Gallinat, J., Wagner, G. G., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). In search of features that constitute an "enriched environment" in humans: Associations between geographical properties and brain structure. Scientific Reports, 7: 11920. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12046-7

Max Planck Institute for Human Development
The Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin was founded in 1963. It is an interdisciplinary research institution dedicated to the study of human development and education. The Institute belongs to the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, one of the leading organizations for basic research in Europe.

Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II)
The Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) is a continuation of the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) of the 1990s. BASE-II involves psychologists, social scientists, economists, and physicians as well as geneticists. Together they examine which factors contribute to healthy aging. The research institutions involved include Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB), the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the DIW Berlin, as well as the Tübingen Ageing and Tumour Immunology Group at the University of Tübingen. The Berlin Aging Study II was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. www.base2.mpg.de/en

Weitere Informationen:
- https://www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/en/media/2017/10/life-in-the-city-living-near-a-forest-keeps-your-amygdala-healthier

Quelle: idw


Weitere Nachrichten zum Thema
  • BildHow life came ashore (17.04.2013, 20:10)
    The coelacanth is interesting in many respects: until 1938, this fish was thought to have become extinct; it has changed very little in the past 300 million years; and it is considered a predecessor of the first land creatures. Now scientists have...
  • BildAmbient Assisted Living (10.12.2012, 12:10)
    Universität Rostock mit neuem Weiterbildungsangebot im Bereich Gesundheit und PflegeWie wollen wir im Alter leben? Diese Frage ist für Wissenschaftler an der Universität Rostock seit vielen Jahren Motivation und Anlass für vielfältige Forschung...
  • BildAPOLLON Hochschule forscht zu Ambient Assisted Living (10.05.2012, 16:10)
    Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung fördert Forschungsprojekt der APOLLON Hochschule zu altersgerechten technischen Assistenzsystemen. Ergebnisse fließen in neuen Studiengang „Bachelor Gesundheitstechnologie-Management (B. A.)“ ein.Ambient...
  • BildDead midges reveal living conditions of fish (04.04.2011, 19:00)
    Microscopic remains of dead Phantom midge larvae (Chaoborus spp.) may explain a few hundred years of history of the living conditions of fish, acidification and fish death in Swedish lakes. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have...
  • BildEarth Quakes Observed in Living Cells (12.10.2010, 23:00)
    Results from experiments at Chalmers University of Technology, reported in Nature Materials, October 10, 2010, cast new light on rupture mechanisms of biological membranes.Professor Owe Orwar and his team of scientists from Chalmers, and the...
  • BildLiving cells made to fluoresce (09.08.2010, 18:00)
    Individual molecules and their dynamics can also be made visible in living cells using conventional fluorophores at a resolution of around 20 nanometers. How this is done is being revealed for the first time by researchers from Würzburg,...
  • BildPräsentation des „living handbook of narratology“ (22.06.2010, 15:00)
    Die Erzählforschung an der Universität Hamburg lebt – und zwar im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes: Am 1. Juli geht die von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) und der Universität Hamburg geförderte Open Access-Publikation „living handbook of...
  • BildPromised Belief - or Life after Life (26.05.2009, 10:00)
    Mosse-Lecture mit Hélène Cixous am 27. Mai 2009 im Senatssaal der Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinHélène CixousPhilosophin und Autorin, ParisPromised Belief - or Life after Lifespricht amMittwoch, 27. Mai 2009, 19 Uhr c.t.Senatssaal, Hauptgebäude...
  • BildTrendseminar: Ambient Assisted Living (12.02.2009, 14:00)
    Am 10. März 2009 organisiert die MFG Stiftung Baden-Württemberg zusammen mit dem Fraunhofer IAO ein Trendseminar zum Thema Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), bei dem IT-gestützte Maßnahmen zur Förderung von selbstständigem Leben älterer Menschen...
  • BildLiving fossil to Bergianska Garden in Stockholm (15.06.2007, 13:00)
    The Bergianska Garden at Stockholm University in Sweden has received a specimen of one of the world's oldest tree species, the Wollemi pine, an Australian conifer. It was discovered as recently as 1994, and there are only some 100 specimens in...

Ähnliche Themen in den JuraForen


Kommentar schreiben

4 + Z,w_ei =

Bisherige Kommentare zur Nachricht (0)

(Keine Kommentare vorhanden)



Fragen Sie einen Anwalt!
Anwälte sind gerade online.
Schnelle Antwort auf Ihre Rechtsfrage.

JuraForum-Newsletter

Kostenlose aktuelle Urteile und Rechtstipps per E-Mail:

Top 10 Orte in der Anwaltssuche

JuraForum-Suche

Durchsuchen Sie hier JuraForum.de nach bestimmten Begriffen:

© 2003-2017 JuraForum.de — Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Keine Vervielfältigung, Verbreitung oder Nutzung für kommerzielle Zwecke.