Have you ever thought why hearing birds chirp in the mornings seems to be so calming? According to a recent study, listening to bird sounds can aid humans in overcoming tension and anxiety. A group of researchers from Germany assessed the impact of urban traffic noise versus natural bird singing on the participants’ cognitive and emotional function.
Another objective was to assess the impact of lower vs. higher soundscape variety by varying the number of various typical traffic noises or different bird species’ songs within the respective soundscapes, according to a study published in the Nature portfolio magazine Scientific Reports.
295 participants were randomly chosen for one of four treatments—traffic noise low, traffic noise high, birdsong low, and birdsong high diversity soundscapes—for six minutes in an online experiment conducted by the researchers. Before and after the exposure, the subjects also completed digit-span and dual n-back tasks, as well as surveys for sorrow, anxiety, and paranoia.
A Newsweek report says that as the world rapidly urbanises, so does the environment in which people live. Around 70% of the world’s population is projected to live in cities by 2050, with certain regions, like Europe, already exceeding this percentage.
Given that urbanisation has been linked to worse mental health outcomes, understanding how the urban environment affects our wellbeing is crucial. However, traditional psychological research usually undervalues the impact of environmental influences on human wellbeing and cognition.
The Lise Meitner Group for Environmental Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Department Eppendorf of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy are partners with the German researchers, according to Newsweek.(WION)
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