When the volunteers made their way through the urbanized, busy areas,
particularly the heavily trafficked commercial district at the end of their
walk, their brain wave patterns consistently showed that they were more
aroused, attentive and frustrated than when they walked through the
parkland, where brain-wave readings became more meditative.
While traveling through the park, the walkers were mentally quieter.
Which is not to say that they weren’t paying attention, said Jenny Roe, a
professor in the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University,
who oversaw the study. “Natural environments still engage” the brain, she
said, but the attention demanded “is effortless. It’s called involuntary
attention in psychology. It holds our attention while at the same time
allowing scope for reflection,” and providing a palliative to the nonstop
attentional demands of typical, city streets.
*Easing Brain Fatigue With a Walk in the Park*