behavior · brain · environment · health · mental health · neuroscience

Your brain on oceans, now part of a study

Fishing in the Maldives
The ocean has a significant, presumably positive, effect on the brain. Image via Wikipedia

Several researchers have looked at the effects of nature on the brain, but usually look at wooded environments. But how does the ocean effect us? Some argue a lot.

One researcher, Wallace J. Nichols, is looking at the effect that the ocean has on our brains.

If the ocean has a direct, neurological impact on our brains, an awareness of this connection will change the way we treat it—and the policy implications could be profound. That’s the hope, at least, that motivated “neuro-conservationist” and turtle specialist Wallace J. Nichols to invite a group of neuroscientists, marine scientists, journalists and artists to start a conversation about our emotional connection with the sea.

Nichols thinks that our grey matter is actually uniquely tuned into the Big Blue. “When we think of the ocean—or hear the ocean, or see the ocean, or get in the ocean, even taste and smell the ocean, or all of those things at once,” Nichols said in an OnEarth interview, “we feel something different than before that happened. For most people, it’s generally good. It often makes us more open or contemplative. For many people, it reduces stress.”

Nichols aims to tap into this emotional response to oceans—what he calls the Blue Mind—to help build support for responsible stewardship of the world’s marine ecosystems.

more via This Is Your Brain on Oceans

I like the term “neuro-conservationist,” but I’m not sure what it means exactly, even after reading this article. But anecdotally I agree the ocean has a definite effect on the brain.

What information or experiences are already out there that involve the ocean.

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