CTLA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Prefrontal Cortex, Cortisol, Amygdala

Teaching and Learning, Centre for
Course Code
Sheryl Stevenson

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Your brain on nature (Williams)
Three day effect:
Cleaning the mental windshield that occurs when we're in nature for so long
Produces a difference in qualitative thinking
Brains are easily fatigued, when we surround ourselves in nature not only do we feel
restored but mental performance improves as well
The participants who went on the three day effect, performed 50% better on creative
problem solving tasks
Nature allows the prefrontal cortex, brain command center to dial down and rest, EEG
will show less energy
" I haven't looked at a computer or cell phone in days. It's easy to forget for a few
moments that I ever had them"
People living near more green space had less mental distress
Less deaths among people who lived closer to green spaces
Nature lowers stress, and people with window views or trees and grass recovered faster
in hospitals, perform better in school and display less violent behaviour in
neighbourhoods where its common
Short doses of nature or even pictures can calm people down and sharpen their
Student who sat after a math test in nature scenes and bird songs had decreased stress
Nature helps calm people as in the "blue room" in a prison where no one is shouting and
calmly watching their nature videos as they exercise
16% decrease in the stress hormonal cortisol , 2% drop in blood pressure and 4% drop in
rate when they walked in the forest (research conducted by Yoshifumi Miyazaki)
We feel more connected with nature because we evolved in it
40-50 min walk seems to work for physiological changes and mood changes and maybe
for attention
The forest in north Korea for healing of all types of problems have went up from 9.4
million to 12.8 million
Forest healing reduced medical costs and benefits local economies
When volunteers were shows urban scenes their brain showed more blood flow in the
amygdala, which process fear and anxiety
Natural scenes lit up the anterior cingulate and the insula areas associated with
empathy and altruism
Makes us nicer to ourselves
The people who walked in the nature for 90 mins showed decrease activity in the
subgenual prefrontal cortex - part of the brain tied to depressive rumination- nature
walker beat themselves up less
When we are seeing visual elements in nature it allows the brain to wander, rest and
recover from what Olmsted called the "nervous irritation" of city life
Tetha signals were lower than the people who stayed in the city
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