What is neurobiophilia?

Neurobiophilia[1]  is a subdiscipline of neuroscience that explores how functions and dynamics of the human brain respond to nature. This term is rooted in biologist’s E.O. Wilson’s “Biophilia Theory”, which posits that an instinctive bond exists between human beings and other living beings and systems. By studying how the human brain responds to nature, whether immersed in it or presented audio-visually, research in neurobiophilia examines both the cognitive benefits of nature contact and neurological impacts of nature deprivation. Common research methods include: EEG (electroencephalography); fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging); CT (Computer Tomography) scans; PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans; and ECOG (electrocorticography). Discoveries help inform the creation of effective tools to alleviate deleterious mental effects of nature deprivation in such extreme environments as prisons.

 


[1]First coined by Dr. Tierney Thys at the TED conference in Vancouver, BC Canada, March 2014.