Neurovetenskap: Hur vår hjärna påverkas av Naturen

Vi lever idag i en otroligt spännande tid, där forskning och vetenskap kan ta oss djupare än någonsin in i hur vi människor fungerar. Tänk, att för bara några år sedan så var vår hjärna likt ett plans svarta låda helt outforskad, medan vi nu med modern teknik kan medvetandegöra många av de processer som skapar vårt unika människoliv. 

Då forskning om hur naturen påverkar våran hjärnstruktur fortfarande är relativt ny så har jag bett Manu Schuetze, PhD Candidate som studerar Neurovetenskap på University of Calgary, Canada att djupdyka in i detta tema.

Neurovetenskap är nämligen en av de inriktningar som är på riktig frammarsch och visst publiceras de mest fascinerande av resultat.

För Naturen påverkar oss mer än vad vi kan tro och trots att hälsa alltid kommer att vara en subjektiv upplevelse, som jag skrev om HÄR, så är det med ett leende på läpparna vi nu rent vetenskapligt får bekräftat det vi så länge har vetat.

Hur naturen påverkar hjärnan

Manu, upplyser om en forsknings artikel som ger stöd åt att människor som bor i städer med mer parker upplever att deras välmående förbättras utifrån flertalet olika hälsoaspekter.

Hon argumenterar sedan hur ytterligare undersökningar intygar att spänningar, ilska, trötthet & förvirring minskar för de som väljer att promenera i en park i stället för en stad.

Mest intressanta var nog studien där man med hjälp av en hjärnröntgen sett hur aktiviteten i den del av hjärnan som förknippas med depression minskar när vi spenderar mer tid i naturen!

Wow, känner jag när jag läser Manus ord!

Vad känner du? Har du personliga upplevelser om hur naturen påverkar din mentala hälsa?

Har du svårt att förstå engelskan så är Google translate ett bra verktyg som kan stötta dig!

hur hjärnan påverkas av naturen

Have you ever heard of Edward O. Wilson?

He is an evolutionary biologist who wrote a book in 1986 called ‘Biophilia’. He put forward the idea that human beings have an “innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike process”. In other words, he argued that we are all born with a desire to spend time in nature.

For myself, I completely agree with that idea because of how I start to feel more relaxed when I go on a long walk through the mountains close to my home in Canada. How I long for the mountains when I see them on the horizon from my work place. How I always end up picking vacations in places surrounded by nature or close to the sea.

But is it really true for all of us?

Even if we love our busy city lives, would we all benefit from spending more time in nature? Some research seems to say ‘yes’.

Hur hjärnan påverkas av Naturen

 Researchers have studied how parks can impact the health and wellbeing of people living in 44 American cities, and found that the more and the bigger the parks, the higher the wellbeing of that city’s inhabitants. However, let’s first think about what “wellbeing” really means for a minute (because it is impressive how many aspects of our lives “nature” can affect).

The most commonly used assessment in this and other research studies focuses on five core components: Physical wellbeing (good physical health), community wellbeing (feelings of safety, security, and a sense of local pride), social wellbeing (quality of relationships and how much love in life you experience), financial wellbeing (economic security and whether or not one can fulfill essential needs), purpose and associated career wellbeing (how much do you enjoy what you do on a daily basis).

Impressive, isn’t it?

If two cities would be exactly the same, that is, if they had the same public transportation, same economic growth, job security, crime rate, living costs, roads, access to social services, leisure opportunities, if everything would be the same except that the size and amount of parks would differ, then on average, people in the city with more parks would feel better in many aspects of “wellbeing”.

Other research has shown that feelings of anxiety and negative emotions (tension, anger, fatigue and confusion) were reduced in people who walked through a park when compared to those who walked through an urban city area.

hur hjärnan påverkas av naturen

 Researchers have also used brain scans to look at brain activity before and after people went either for a walk through the city or for a walk through nature. They found something interesting happening in a brain region called the “subgenual prefrontal cortex”.

This brain region has been shown to be over-active in people with depression but also in healthy people when they ruminate a lot (i.e. when they keep having negative thoughts over and over again – a behaviour that is linked to depression).

Now, can you guess what happened in people who went for a walk through nature?

This brain region became less active than it was before. Along with that, the same group of people scored much lower on a rumination questionnaire than they did before they went for the walk through nature.

Let me ask again, would we all benefit from spending more time in nature?

The science so far says “Yes – for both our physical and mental health.”

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Manu Schuetze

Manu Schuetze, PhD Candidate in Neuroscience at the University of Calgary, Canada

 To read more about Manu´s Research
Visit her Website:


Original Research and Further Reading:

Edward O. Wilson: “Biophilia” (1986). Harvard University Press. ISBN-10: 0674074424,

ISBN-13: 978-0674074422

Larson, L. R., Jennings, V., & Cloutier, S. A. (2016). Public parks and wellbeing in urban areas of the United States. PLoS one, 11(4), e0153211.

Song, C., Ikei, H., Igarashi, M., Takagaki, M., & Miyazaki, Y. (2015). Physiological and psychological effects of a walk in urban parks in fall. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(11), 14216-14228.

Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Hahn, K. S., Daily, G. C., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 112(28), 8567-8572.