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Greener Neighborhoods May Be Good for Children’s Brains

Children living in urban greener neighborhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to a British Journal of Educational Psychology study. Spatial working memory is responsible for recording information about one's environment and spatial orientation, and it is strongly inter-related with attentional control.

Thursday, September 6, 2018 12:01 am EDT
"If the association we established between neighborhood greenspace and children’s spatial working memory is causal, then our findings can be used to inform decisions about both education and urban planning."

Children living in urban greener neighborhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to a British Journal of Educational Psychology study. Spatial working memory is responsible for recording information about one's environment and spatial orientation, and it is strongly inter-related with attentional control.

In the study of 4758 11-year-olds living in urban areas in England, lower quantity of neighborhood greenspace was related to poorer spatial working memory, and this relationship held in both deprived and non-deprived neighborhoods.

“Our findings suggest a positive role of greenspace in cognitive functioning. Spatial working memory is an important cognitive ability that is strongly related with academic achievement in children, particularly mathematics performance,” said corresponding author Dr. Eirini Flouri, of University College London. “If the association we established between neighborhood greenspace and children’s spatial working memory is causal, then our findings can be used to inform decisions about both education and urban planning.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjep.12243

About Journal

The British Journal of Educational Psychology publishes psychological research that makes a significant contribution to the understanding and practice of education as well as advances the field in terms of theory related to educational psychology. Our aim is to publish research which has a broad international appeal to researchers and practitioners in education. We welcome empirical and methodological papers, experimental studies, observations of classroom behaviours, interviews, and surveys. Important criteria in the selection process are quality of argument and execution, clarity in presentation, and educational significance. Although we tend to publish more quantitative than qualitative studies, we welcome rigorous, empirical qualitative studies

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in education and scholarly research. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.


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