Stress in the City

A new study looks at how growing up and living in cities can affect how people process stress.

In this post from Per Square Mile, Tim De Chant reviews the paper.

"The paper is the first of its kind, merely lifting the corner of a page in what is likely to be a huge tome of neuroscientific discoveries on how urban life affects the development of our brains and how we react to the populous world around us. The study's sample size is somewhat limited, but the results are statistical home runs. And like many pioneering studies, it raises many more questions than it answers.

The Germany-based researchers started by administering a difficult math test to 34 college students. While the students were taking the test, the researchers harangued them about their substandard score or slow progress to stimulate social stress. All the while, functional magnetic resonance imaging machines (fMRI) scanned the students' brains, recording their activity. After the test and scans were completed, the researchers weighed the students' patterns of brain activity against their place of upbringing-big city, small town, or rural area. Subjects who were raised in the city exhibited higher levels of activity in their amygdala, a region of the brain which processes emotion, and cingulate cortex, an area which regulates the amygdala. The results were so powerful that the scientists conducted a follow up experiment to be doubly certain. That study confirmed the findings of the first."

Full Story: This is your brain in the city


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

Get the "Green Bible" of educational planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.