- Hi All,
Just noticed this:
>Does living in the city age your brain?Of course, there was no control group for Venice....
>By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
>November 17, 2010 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
>How urban living affects your brain
>Kobe, Japan (CNN) -- There is a reason more than half the world's population lives in cities, with the number expected to grow. Cities have a lot to offer. Residents can walk to nearby shops and enjoy cultural attractions not available to those in more rural areas. Also, living in a city may make your commute to work much shorter.
>Unfortunately, according to health officials from the World Health Organization, that convenience may come with a price -- higher levels of stress and a measurable impact on your brain.
>The problem seems to be "attention," or more specifically, the lack of it. With so many different distractions -- from a flashing neon sign, to the cell phone conversation of a nearby passenger on a bus, a city dweller starts to practice something known as "controlled perception." That toggling back and forth between competing stimuli can be mentally exhausting.
>In fact, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, just living in an urban environment makes it more difficult for an individual to hold things in memory.
>In the same study, researchers split undergraduate students into two groups. One spent the day in a suburban neighborhood, the other group in a busy city. Overall, those in the city scored lower on attention tests and had a worse mood comparatively.
>Some of this may be no surprise, especially if you live in a city yourself. The good news, however, is a solution may be relatively easy. Recent studies have shown just getting glimpses of green areas can improve brain performance.
>While it would be great to get completely "unplugged" for long periods of time -- spending a few minutes a day in a park gives you time to reduce your cognitive efforts and relieve mental exhaustion.
>So, a key for urban city planners is to maintain and enhance natural green settings as much as possible, and for individuals to take brief respites to enjoy them.
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J.H. Crawford . Carfree Cities
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