Rural Vs. Urban - So How Is Our Human Brain Supposed To Deal With The Constant Onslaught...

Preferring the rural to the urban? Happen to be more happy in the countryside? Farm rather than firm?

Could that be "hard-wired" into your brain? Interesting piece of work by psychologists, who decided to take a look at how we are all trying to cope with our environment. While I have issues with the language, the study is interesting. I don't feel "hard-wired" but I do prefer trees to concrete.

Thanks (as always) to Tom for finding.

If you live in a mansion (apartment) in a high rise building in a city like Tokyo, Seoul or Beijing, you are obviously not in touch with what your brain is prepared to deal with. Make that London or New York, or wherever. Or Rio. Or Kiev. Or Stockholm. No wonder so much of the news is just about issues that do not really matter. People living in superlarge cities will find it more and more difficult to secure food, energy, news, "feeling at peace" than before.

Rural vs. urban may become the most serious battle, once WTO and TPP agreements kick in and we are left to deal with the details. I see a lot of people from urban area coming to my forest to run or walk, but are they prepared spiritually to go beyond the "ganbaru" and such mindset?

Why are there still golf courses here for the super-rich? I understand they are probably the top-of-the-top-Japanese who cannot enjoy nature in any other way. A few hours of golf in stead of promoting biological diversity, helping Ramsar sites, working to make Satoyama initiatives a real thing, while we all try to stop global warming. Playing golf rather than doing your duty to make sure that Japan gloriously works to do your thing, with pride?

I wish I had more examples.

The Independent: Human brain hard-wired for rural tranquility

Humans may be hard-wired to feel at peace in the countryside and confused in cities – even if they were born and raised in an urban area. 

According to preliminary results of a study by scientists at Exeter University, an area of the brain associated with being in a calm, meditative state lit up when people were shown pictures of rural settings. But images of urban environments resulted in a significant delay in reaction, before a part of the brain involved in processing visual complexity swung into action as the viewer tried to work out what they were seeing.
The study, which used an MRI scanner to monitor brain activity, adds to a growing body of evidence that natural environments are good for humans, affecting mental and physical health and even levels of aggression.
Dr Ian Frampton, an Exeter University psychologist, stressed the researchers still had more work to do, but said they may have hit upon something significant.
“When looking at urban environments the brain is doing a lot of processing because it doesn’t know what this environment is,” he said. “The brain doesn’t have an immediate natural response to it, so it has to get busy. Part of the brain that deals with visual complexity lights up: ‘What is this that I’m looking at?’ Even if you have lived in a city all your life, it seems your brain doesn’t quite know what to do with this information and has to do visual processing,” he said.
Rural images produced a “much quieter” response in a “completely different part of the brain”, he added. “There’s much less activity. It seems to be in the limbic system, a much older, evolutionarily, part of the brain that we share with monkeys and primates.”


Anonymous said…
Hi Kurashi,

I think the choice is obvious, but the option is not.

Good examples from you! I wrote one more at my blog, and that link goes to it.

Also, remember my little idea about how to re-establish the old satoyama economy via universities, students and place? Well, here's a video to the brainchild of that idea: Global Brigades - The Idea, Sustainability, Scalability [vid] (10 minutes)


adams guild™
Martin J Frid said…
Hi Ken,

Oh, I like your "little" idea very much.

One other source of inspiration comes from the rewilding movement, as described for example by George Monbiot in his book Feral:

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