Thursday, 22 December 2011

Looking for benefits in birdsong

Conservation charities and scientists are beginning a research project to find out whether birdsong has any impact on people's mental wellbeing.

Surrey University, in conjunction with the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust, will look for effects on mood, creativity and behaviour.

Though many people say they enjoy birdsong and other natural sounds, there is a lack of academic evidence.

The project will involve laboratory and field research, and questionnaires.

Although there has been a lot of research on responses to nature in vision - for example, showing that hospital patients respond to treatment better if they see images of landscapes rather than urban walls - relatively little has been done on sound.

"There have been a studies showing for example that natural sounds can help people recover physiologically from stress," said Eleanor Ratcliffe, the psychologist from Surrey University in Guildford who will lead the project.

Read more here ...

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