Impact of nostalgia measured in brains
Scientists have measured nostalgia for the first time by showing how places that stir up memories affect the brain.
A group of 20 volunteers underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans while looking at photos of locations that meant something to them or important objects.
The meaningful places triggered a far stronger response in the brain than personal objects, such as wedding rings.
Lead scientist Dr Andy Myers, from the University of Surrey, said: “For the first time, we have been able to prove the physical and emotional benefits of place, far beyond any research that has been done before.
“MRI opens a window into the brain allowing us to explore automatic emotional responses, scientifically demonstrating a tangible link between people and places that is often difficult to verbally describe.”
The study was conducted with the National Trust, whose science head Nino Strachey said: “This research confirms places we love not only shape who we are, but offer deep physical and psychological benefits.”