While recent research has shown that natural settings may help to soothe and refocus kids with attention deficit disorder, new data suggests that adults can also benefit from the restorative powers of nature.   Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor, a child environment and behavior researcher at the University of Illinois studies “attention restoration theory.” She has explained the human brain as having two forms of attention… “directed” attention and “involuntary” attention. “Directed” attention is what we use most of the time, when we are at work, studying, and concentrating.  “Involuntary” attention occurs when we automatically respond to things in nature or natural settings. Attention restoration theory suggests that views of trees, grass, and other natural settings distract us from directed attention, allowing us a rest from the tensions of the day.   While Dr. Faber Taylor advocates that children be given views of green space from the classroom, she also believes that a green view is beneficial for adults.  “Most people recognize the pattern,” she said.  “For so long we have ignored the effect our physical environments have on our ability to pay attention.”

In another study, a researcher noted that putting a serene, natural setting on your computer wallpaper can have a soothing effect on your brain……. NYTimes     4/29/12

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