It’s an unexpected check. A group of scientists conducted a study with children. They wanted to assess whether the environment favors a certain brain development. It turned out that it was. Growing near trees favors intelligence.
3,568 students from London took part. And the age was between 9 and 15 years. Something was found in children who spent more time near the forest. They showed better cognitive performance and mental health in adolescence. But strangely enough, not all natural environments have the same impact. Meadows, lakes, or rivers don’t seem to have the same effects.
“Natural environments promote cognitive development. And also the mental health of adolescents. Although not all are the same, ”write the authors.
Previously, a certain connection between the mental state and the trees was noted. It has been used in epidemiological studies in children in the United States and Denmark. They showed a special effect of green spaces in residential areas. They lead to a lower risk of mental health problems later in life.
Similar studies have been carried out in the UK. They analyzed children in neighborhoods. The greener they are, the better they have a memory for spatial order.
Trees or economy?
But socio-economic factors can also play a major role.
“Children who grew up in greener neighborhoods show better general cognitive skills. But the association is likely due to other factors. For example socio-economic, family and neighborhood. That is mentioned in the 2019 study cited by ScienceAlert.
So does growing near trees promote intelligence? It’s at least clear that it’s related to better mental health. This study was published in Nature Sustainability.