Does city life make you more sensitive to stress?

Does city life make you more sensitive to stress?There’s no doubt cities breed stress, with their crowds, noises and fast pace. But is this plethora of stress also magnifying the reactions of city dwellers?

According to the latest study, if you grew up in a city, the city itself may be at the root of your high stress levels. Recently published in the journal Nature, this new study seems to suggest that those who grew up in a city environment react more strongly to stressors than do their peers who were raised in the country. The defining factor, it seems, is human-related stress, that is, stress caused by other people.
This study, performed by the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, asked thirty-two volunteers to solve difficult math problems while undergoing brain scans. These problems were specifically designed to challenge if not completely confuse the volunteers. Then their solutions were subsequently critiqued by a group of researchers sitting in front of them. All the while the volunteers remained under the brain scanners.
What the researchers discovered after analyzing the brain scan results, was that the amygdala or emotional center of the brain, lit up in the scans of the volunteers from the larger cities as they listened to their work be criticized.
Of course, the researchers were not able to specify exactly why the city dwellers had stronger reactions to such stress. However, they reasonably surmised that it is related to the extent of previous exposure to the human related stressors prevalent in cities.

Yayın Tarihi:19.07.2011     Okunma Sayısı:1620

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