Urban Life is Bad for Brains

Many people find that city life is exhausting and now scientists know the reason. Here's how urban living is actually detrimental to the human brain:

Now scientists have begun to examine how the city affects the brain, and the results are chastening. Just being in an urban environment, they have found, impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control. While it's long been recognized that city life is exhausting -- that's why Picasso left Paris -- this new research suggests that cities actually dull our thinking, sometimes dramatically so.

"The mind is a limited machine,"says Marc Berman, a psychologist at the University of Michigan and lead author of a new study that measured the cognitive deficits caused by a short urban walk. "And we're beginning to understand the different ways that a city can exceed those limitations."

One of the main forces at work is a stark lack of nature, which is surprisingly beneficial for the brain. Studies have demonstrated, for instance, that hospital patients recover more quickly when they can see trees from their windows, and that women living in public housing are better able to focus when their apartment overlooks a grassy courtyard. Even these fleeting glimpses of nature improve brain performance, it seems, because they provide a mental break from the urban roil.


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Our mind and senses are indeed limited. Can you imagine having to process all the different senses coming towards you at once while walking down a city block? How would we ever focus? Usually I find myself blocking everything out altogether and just concentrating on some personal matter one my mind.
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"The mind is a limited machine," says Marc Berman

What are we ... cows? What a depressing outlook on the human mind. I've always been taught just the opposite. The mind is an unlimited machine.
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hahaha Dave I had the same thought.... I have long wondered about this, the thought which usually comes to mind is the experiments with rats, when there are too many rats in a cage, they start to tear each other apart. The responses to your comment prove your point.
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@CheeseDuck: BIOYA. Way to be a jerk. Did nobody else wonder what effects might be produced if the results of this study are correct, or are there too many urbanite readers here? Or should I have prefaced my comment with the stock "Although Neatorama isn't a political site..."? That seems to work for the primary site contributors.

As for your suggestion to take it to the forums, to put it mildly, the forums suck.
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