Sunday, November 08, 2009

Interesting brain study of the moment: Nature Makes you Smarter

 You know those all-night study sessions you find yourself in? If you're in college, they happen more often than not, and for others they may happen through a planning lesson. Whatever the case may be, you enter into a kind of zone where you just attempt to conquer an inhumane amount of material in an extended period of time, either to write a paper or study for a test. It's not fun to say the least....

Well during these intense study sessions, there comes a time every few hours where your brain ends up on overload and you need a study break...

But have you ever wondered what the best way to utilize these study breaks to the fullest? A moment where your brain actually gets rest?
A new study summarized at Cognitive Daily suggests that walks into natural landscapes or observing natural landscapes between intense concentration (study) sessions will improve your retention/cognitive ability during these sessions. The theory goes as so,

"the natural world engages your attention in a bottom-up fashion, by features of the environment (e.g. a sunset, a beautiful tree). The artificial world demands active attention, to avoid getting hit by cars or to follow street signs. Since intellectual activities like studying or writing also demand the same kind of attention, taking a break in the artificial world doesn't really function like a rest."

And if you read the link, the few studies that have been done on the matter seem to suggest walks into nature do indeed help for study breaks more so than walks into artificial environments...(although both work).

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