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Long Term Exposure to Green Spaces Affects Children’s Cognitive Development

School aged children who have long term exposure to green space are less distracted and experience improved memory, according a recently published study co-authored by UCLA FSPH professor and chair of environmental health sciences, Dr. Michael Jerrett. 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018
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There is more evidence green does a brain good.

School aged children who have long term exposure to green space are less distracted and experience improved memory, according a recently published study co-authored by UCLA researchers.

The new research links for the first time the improved cognitive function of a child exposed to nature to structural changes in the developing brain. The study’s results could have global implications, as half of the world’s population live in urban areas where access to nature can be scarce.

In the study, which was published Friday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health used MRI data and proximity to green space culled from 253 schoolchildren from the BREATHE project in Barcelona to figure out how being raised in greener neighborhoods affects brain development.

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