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TOPIC: Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive

Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 17:28 #1

  • pheony
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Many of us dream of escaping to the calm and tranquillity of the countryside, leaving the rat race behind - and it seems this may be due to the fact our brain is telling us to.
Researchers from Exeter have discovered we are hard-wired to seek out rural landscapes because they make us feel calm, while cities confuse us and make us aggressive - even if we’ve only ever lived in urban areas.
This could be due to the fact humans lived in rural environments for hundreds of years, or may be because our brains just aren’t equipped to handle the huge amounts of stimuli in busy cityscapes.


Scientists from Exeter University studied what happened to people's brains when they were shown images of rural and urban landscapes. They found that when people look at rural environments, pictured, the limbic system and area of their brain associated with calm and peacefulness lights up

To test their theory of rural versus urban living, scientists at Exeter University wired up participants to an MRI scanner before showing them images of cities and country landscapes.

When rural images were flashed onto a screen, the limbic area of the brain was activated and lit up on the scanner.
This area is associated with feelings of calm and peacefulness and is part of the brain shared with monkeys and primates.
However, when images of cities and busy streets were shown to the participants, the area of the brain associated with ‘visual complexity’ - the visual cortex in the occipital lobe - was activated.

www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2521912/Human-brains-hard-wired-enjoy-calm-countryside--cities-make-confused-anxious-aggressive.html

I've been a lot calmer since moving out of London. I couldn't imagine living there again.
Last Edit: 11 Dec 2013 17:29 by pheony.
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 17:41 #2

  • Paul Tootall
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The kids and I have it planned out that if we were ever to come into or ever earn enough money, we would be off to a small holding in the country. I grew up on a farm and know a full farm is hard work, but that's not what I am on about, just a sustainable way of living will do up.... as long as they get horses hehe. Just enough money to pay what you have to to the outside world, wood burning stoves/AGA and some off grid power supply and water.

We even agreed the ex wife could come with us... well I would offer ;)
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 17:42 #3

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Hmmmm, interesting. But it conflicts with many other "facts" and "research" out there.

For example: research and mental health figures show that countryside dwellers suffer serious, chronic depressions. The farming community has huge numbers of suicide, in relation to the wider population, and this is world-wide. It's okay living in the country IF you don't actually have to live in the country, IF you can leave it at will. But having to live there: it's isolating, everything is more work and time consuming; and when things go wrong there is little support or even company.

People are Group Animals. Like horses and wolves, we need our "pack" and don't do as well on our own.

I've watched townies and city-dwellers come to the rural areas I've lived in..... and sink rapidly. City life can be harsh and, peculiarly, has more similarity with how we would have to survive in "wild situations" than country living; but a city has been built FOR people from its start.

I think, perhaps, both are necessary: live in your city/town, but go into the country regularly; or live in the country but leave it daily for work and to make links with other people. Both have their good point and both have their bad points - but I suggest showing people pictures of the countryside and watching a brain reaction is a very "short-term" indicator that ultimately bears little or no relation to reality.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


:cavalier
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 17:56 #4

  • hagrid
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cantata wrote:

People are Group Animals. Like horses and wolves, we need our "pack" and don't do as well on our own.
I suspect you are generalising, but it dosent apply to everyone, I was brought up in a city, I lived in a city for 43 years, but I couldn't wait to get out. I hate crowds, in fact I don't "do" people, I love being on my own. i love the countryside and you can keep the cities. the trouble with most city people is once they move to the country they want to change it! the cockerel makes too much noise..MOVE IT, the bells in the church are too loud..SILENCE THEM, there are no street lights in the countryside, the cows poo in the fields and the tractors hold up traffic... moan,moan,moan............if you don't bloody like why did you come here???
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 18:40 #5

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No streetlights? No problem

Cockerels crowing and churchbells ringing? I can live with that. Preferable to the sounds I have to put up with here.

Cities can be very soulless places.
The pen is mightier than the sword
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 18:46 #6

  • novum
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cantata wrote:
I think, perhaps, both are necessary: live in your city/town, but go into the country regularly; or live in the country but leave it daily for work and to make links with other people. Both have their good point and both have their bad points

I think living on the outskirts of a city is good.. you can have land and nature, but you can be in amongst it with a relatively short trip.

Im guessing properties like that must be quite expensive in the UK though, not so much in some other places.
I remember the good old days, when 90+ year olds in nursing homes lived forever. Darn this pesky virus.

1365 = 1

1.1365 = 1,283,305,580,313,352
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 11 Dec 2013 18:49 #7

  • Hexhammer
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Living in a mostly rural country is a blessing of sorts I think. I hate cities, can't stand it. The traffic, noise, too much people, people, people no matter where you go. That's not for me. Some times my home town feels to be too much. And here's only about 28k people here + all the goddamn Russian tourists.

If I would have the means to, I would move to our summer cottage, that's nice area. Peaceful. Just few days there makes a huge difference on how I feel.

No wonder there might be a weird brain alignment with this. :D But how about some folks who thrive in large cities? What about them? I've met few of these, and can honestly say its not so nice to hang around them.
"I've often felt that dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask."
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 12 Dec 2013 09:37 #8

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I live on the edge of a small market town, in rural North Devon, population LESS than 1,500, really just a blip on the map, most people in South Devon have never heard of it and don't know where it is, blink and you miss it sort of place, BUT if I had the finances I would go further into the "hinterland" of North Devon and find a place-"rural, remote, ISOLATED, no near neighbours-in fact no neighbours at all, I really don't like people in any numbers and the further I can get out on my own the better. I know places" off the beaten track" where apart from the postie they don't see anyone for weeks and a strange car is stared at!!! :D I would hate to have to go back and live in a city, I have lived on the edges of society and I have seen what people are capable of and its not pretty, I believe its lack of space in a city, everyone living on top of each other which actually breeds "problem" families, I've known a few of these personally! nope you can keep the cities, i'll never go back!!!! :umm:
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 12 Dec 2013 16:38 #9

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hagrid wrote:
cantata wrote:

People are Group Animals. Like horses and wolves, we need our "pack" and don't do as well on our own.
I suspect you are generalising, but it dosent apply to everyone, I was brought up in a city, I lived in a city for 43 years, but I couldn't wait to get out. I hate crowds, in fact I don't "do" people, I love being on my own. i love the countryside and you can keep the cities. the trouble with most city people is once they move to the country they want to change it! the cockerel makes too much noise..MOVE IT, the bells in the church are too loud..SILENCE THEM, there are no street lights in the countryside, the cows poo in the fields and the tractors hold up traffic... moan,moan,moan............if you don't bloody like why did you come here???

43 years is a long time to live in the city.

Did you enjoy it in your teens or 20's?
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Human brains are hard-wired to enjoy the calm of the countryside – while cities make us confused, anxious and aggressive 12 Dec 2013 16:54 #10

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.......... wrote:
hagrid wrote:
cantata wrote:

People are Group Animals. Like horses and wolves, we need our "pack" and don't do as well on our own.
I suspect you are generalising, but it dosent apply to everyone, I was brought up in a city, I lived in a city for 43 years, but I couldn't wait to get out. I hate crowds, in fact I don't "do" people, I love being on my own. i love the countryside and you can keep the cities. the trouble with most city people is once they move to the country they want to change it! the cockerel makes too much noise..MOVE IT, the bells in the church are too loud..SILENCE THEM, there are no street lights in the countryside, the cows poo in the fields and the tractors hold up traffic... moan,moan,moan............if you don't bloody like why did you come here???

43 years is a long time to live in the city.

Did you enjoy it in your teens or 20's?
NO, I never liked the city, it was just where I had to be to earn a living, I no longer have that problem and don't have to be in the city anymore.
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