a study Max Planck Institute for Human Developmentbird chirping in germany mood, paranoia, and cognitionand bird chirping is good for mental health.
In the study, researchers conducted a random online experiment with 295 participants to examine how traffic noise and bird sounds affect mood. They listened to six minutes of typical traffic noise or bird chirping, along with a variable number of different sounds of traffic or birds.
Before and after listening to the audio clips, the participants filled out questionnaires and took cognitive tests to assess their mental health. “Everyone has certain psychological tendencies. Healthy people may also experience anxious thoughts or temporary paranoid perceptions. The surveys allowed us to identify the tendencies of people without a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and paranoia and to explore the impact of these voices,” explained the first author. Emil Stobbe of the Lise Meitner Environmental Neuroscience Group at the Max Planck Institute For Human Development in Berlin
current study, Published in ‘Nature’, offers to listen to the song of the birds reduces anxiety and paranoia in healthy participants, Birdsong did not seem to affect depressive states in this experiment. However, traffic noise often worsened depressive states, especially if the audio clip contained many different types of traffic sounds.
The positive effect of bird chirping on mood is already known, but to the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to reveal an effect on paranoid states. This was independent of whether the bird song came from two or more different bird species. The researchers also found that neither bird chirping nor traffic noise affected cognitive performance.
In the researchers’ view, the explanation for these effects is that the chirping of birds is a subtle indicator of a pristine natural environment, which diverts the attention of creatures. stressors otherwise, it may indicate an emotional threat. Taken together, the results suggest exciting avenues for future research and applications, such as actively manipulating background noise in different situations or examining its effect in patients diagnosed with anxiety or paranoia disorder.
“Bird song can also be applied to: prevent mental disorders. Listening to an audio CD would be a simple and easily accessible intervention. But if we were already able to demonstrate such effects in an online experiment conducted by participants on a computer, we can assume that they are even stronger in nature,” says Stobbe, who studies the effects of the physical environment on the individual.
“We were recently able to conduct a study showing that an hour’s walk in nature reduces stress-related brain activity,” adds Simone Kühn, research group director.
“We still cannot say which features of nature – smells, sounds, colors or a combination of these – are responsible for the effect. This study provides an additional component to clarify this issue”, concludes the researcher.
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