Im­pact of nos­tal­gia mea­sured in brains

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

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.”

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