Spending time in nature keeps supresses mental fatigue
Experts estimate that 20 percent of women experience excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding at some time during their lives, particularly as they approach menopause. A new, less invasive procedure called global endometrial ablation (GEA) preserves the uterus, while decreasing menstrual bleeding and shortening patients’ recovery time. In an article published in the January issue of
Full Post: Researchers look at global endometrial ablation procedure for heavy menstrual bleeding
If you spend the majority of your time among stores, restaurants and skyscrapers, it may be time to trade in your stilettos for some hiking boots.
A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveals that spending time in nature may be more beneficial for mental processes than being in urban environments.
Psychologists Marc G. Berman, John Jonides, and Stephen Kaplan from the University of Michigan designed two experiments to test how interactions with nature and urban environments would affect attention and memory processes. First, a group of volunteers completed a task designed to challenge memory and attention. The volunteers then took a walk in either a park or in downtown Ann Arbor. After the walk, volunteers returned to the lab and were retested on the task. In the second experiment, after volunteers completed the task, instead of going out for a walk, they simply viewed either nature photographs or photographs of urban environments and then repeated the task.
The results were quite interesting. In the first experiment, performance on the memory and attention task greatly improved following the walk in the park, but did not improve for volunteers who walked downtown. And it is not just being outside that is beneficial for mental functions - the group who viewed the nature photographs performed much better on the retest than the group who looked at city scenes.
The authors suggest that urban environments provide a relatively complex and often confusing pattern of stimulation, which requires effort to sort out and interpret. Natural environments, by contrast, offer a more coherent (and often more aesthetic) pattern of stimulation that, far from requiring effort, are often experienced as restful. Thus being in the context of nature is effortless, permitting us to replenish our capacity to attend and thus having a restorative effect on our mental abilities.
A new study conducted at the Centre for Studies and Research in Cognitive Neuroscience of the University of Bologna, and published by Elsevier in the February 2009 issue of Cortex shows that, in confabulating patients, memory accuracy improves when attentional resources are reduced. Most cognitive processes supporting adaptive behavior need attentional resources for their operation.
Full Post: When less attention improves behavior
Now’s the perfect time to increase anti-smoking campaigns - Nov. 20 is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. Anti-tobacco public service announcements have been around for decades, designed to encourage people to quit smoking or to refrain from starting. Often these ads try to encourage people to avoid smoking by scaring them with the
Full Post: Effective anti-tobacco public service announcements should either scare or disgust viewers
Days when schoolchildren walked to neighbourhood schools are long gone. A new study by a team of researchers led by Paul Lewis, a professor of Urban Planning at the Université de Montréal, shows that only 30 percent of children attending elementary school reach school on foot or by bicycle. The study was conducted from 2006
Full Post: Children walking less
People who received a mild electrical current to a motor control area of the brain were significantly better able to learn and perform a complex motor task than those in control groups. The findings could hold promise for enhancing rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury, stroke and other conditions. The study is presented in
Full Post: Mild brain stimulation may enhance motor skills in traumatic brain injury, stroke
Even though forgetting is such a common occurrence, scientists have not reached a consensus as to how it happens. One theory is that information simply decays from our memory - we forget things because too much time has passed. Another idea states is that forgetfulness occurs when we confuse an item with other items that
Full Post: Study reveals clues to how we forget over short-term