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Listen: How trees boost our health and happiness

Adding trees to a city can have a significant impact on people’s health and happiness, according to environmental psychologist Marc Berman.

Berman leads the Environmental Neuroscience Lab at the University of Chicago and his research shows that even just looking at pictures of nature or hearing nature sounds can have positive cognitive effects.

“And the question is: Why?” says Berman, assistant professor in the psychology department.

“Is it because its restoring attention, so there’s some psychological benefit that’s translating to a physical benefit? Is it because the air is cleaner? Is it because having trees on the street make your neighborhood nicer and people are more encouraged to exercise? We don’t know the answer to those things—yet.”

In the latest episode of the Knowledge Applied podcast, Berman shares how he measured the effect that trees have on the residents of Toronto, talks about how his lab is mapping brains interacting with nature, and discusses a new app that will help people living in cities find their own urban nature experiences.

Cities make us forget what’s great about nature

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

Source: University of Chicago

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