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Does your Brain feel better outside?

The brain acts much differently when we’re outdoors compared to when we’re inside the lab, a new study has found.
Kyle Mathewson, a neuroscientist in UAlberta’s Department of Psychology and his research team put EEG equipment into backpacks and had subjects perform a standard neuroscience task while riding a bike outside. The task involved identifying changes in an otherwise consistent set of stimuli, such as a higher pitch in a series of beep sounds.
“Something about being outdoors changes brain activity,” said Joanna Scanlon, graduate student and lead author on the study.
The study showed that our brains process stimuli, like sounds and sights, differently when we perform the same task outdoors compared to inside a lab.
“If we can understand how and what humans are paying attention to in the real world, we can learn more about how our minds work,” said Scanlon. “We can use that information to make places more safe, like roadways.

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