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  • This episode of SciShow News is supported by Fabulous,

  • an app that helps you start building your ideal daily routine.

  • The first 100 people who click on the link in the description

  • down below will get 25% off a Fabulous subscription.

  • [♪ INTRO]

  • When life gets a bit too stressful, you might feel like running off into the woods,

  • befriending a deer, and living off berries.

  • And science might actually think that's a good idea, at least as a way to destress.

  • Hanging out in a forest does seem to help your mental health.

  • There's even a Japanese term for this: it's shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.

  • But forests have a lot to offer.

  • They aren't just a bunch of trees to look at.

  • They're full of smells and sounds.

  • And last week, a study published in Scientific Reports

  • proposed that listening to birdsong may help your mental health, as well.

  • Past research had already demonstrated that listening to birds

  • could help people feel less stressed, but this new study went a little further.

  • It looked at the impacts of sounds on subclinical anxiety, depression, and paranoia.

  • In other words, those little negative feelings that we all get,

  • even if we don't have a diagnosable mental disorder.

  • First, the participants had to answer a questionnaire to assess their

  • levels of depression, anxiety, and paranoia,

  • plus take a test on how many numbers and letters they could memorize.

  • Then, each participant listened to six minutes of

  • either singing birds or urban traffic sounds.

  • The birdsong recordings featured either two or eight different European species,

  • but both had subtle wind and water noises beneath the twittering.

  • Meanwhile, the traffic soundscapes consisted of either eight cars driving around,

  • or eight different noise sources, like construction and sirens.

  • Once that six minute period was over,

  • they retook the questionnaire and memory test.

  • While neither kind of soundscape had an influence on memory,

  • there were differences between the mental health reports.

  • The people who listened to traffic reported an increase

  • in feelings associated with depression.

  • But for those who got to chill out to some singing birds,

  • their feelings of anxiety and paranoia decreased.

  • For those who listened to the track with eight different kinds of birds,

  • depression decreased a little, too.

  • The researchers suggest several reasons why birdsong might have these effects.

  • Maybe we naturally associate birds with a peaceful,

  • unpolluted, lush environment, and that has a calming effect on us.

  • Or maybe since birds mostly sing when predators and other threats aren't around,

  • we might subconsciously take birdsong to mean that we are safe, too.

  • Or, it may just be that when we're focusing on birdsong,

  • we have less attention available to focus on stressors.

  • Maybe all we need is a pleasant distraction.

  • Now, this doesn't mean that listening to birdsong

  • is a cure-all for your mental health.

  • Future research will need to measure the effects on

  • people living with depression, anxiety, and other conditions.

  • But it does offer a potential alternative to running off

  • into a forest when you're feeling anxious.

  • Maybe the sweet sounds of birds tweeting can help you out in a pinch,

  • even if you can't get out of your home or office.

  • And sounds don't just have the potential to impact your mood.

  • A study published this week in the journal Learning and Memory

  • used sounds to help people forget specific memories while they were sleeping.

  • In general, sleep is super important for memory.

  • It helps make new memories more stable and easier to remember in the future.

  • Scientists do not know exactly how the process works,

  • but one hypothesis involves the brain reactivating those memories

  • and strengthening the pattern of connections between neurons

  • that our brains use to represent them.

  • And for the past decade or so, researchers have been intentionally reactivating

  • specific memories during sleep to get people to remember them better.

  • They'll teach someone pairs of words during the day, like dog and school,

  • and then play the sound of a dog barking while they sleep.

  • Playing the sound reactivates the memory of the word pair.

  • When the person wakes up, they will remember the word pair

  • better than those that were not reactivated while they slept.

  • But in this new research, a team tweaked the experiment to

  • weaken memories instead of strengthening them.

  • Right before going to bed, participants learned a bunch of

  • word pairs and a few lone control words.

  • The pairs were compiled using a combination of location-based words,

  • famous people's names, and common objects.

  • The researchers created pairs in sets of two so that

  • they shared the same common object.

  • For example, the three words bicycle, Beckham,

  • and castle formed the two word pairs bicycle-Beckham and bicycle-castle.

  • Each participant was shown both pairs, but spaced out so that they couldn't

  • figure out what the researchers were trying to do.

  • And each pair came with some audio reinforcement.

  • In this example, participants would hear the wordbicycle”.

  • Then, half of the participants were given a memory test before they went to sleep.

  • For each question, they were shown one word they learned,

  • and had to match it with the other word in its pair.

  • While they were sleeping, the researchers played a recording

  • that listed a selection of the common object words.

  • The next morning, everyone took that same style of memory test as before.

  • For the words played during sleep, participants strengthened their memory

  • of whichever word pair they had learned first,

  • but weakened their memory of the pair they learned second.

  • So people who learned bicycle-Beckham before bicycle-castle,

  • and heardbicyclewhile they slept, were more successful at pickingBeckham

  • out of a set of famous names, than pickingcastleout of a set of locations.

  • However, this was only true for word pairs that didn't get that little bit of

  • extra reinforcement during the pretest that 50% of people took.

  • The team isn't quite sure what brain mechanism is causing this forgetting.

  • Maybe the brain is focused on strengthening the memory that was already

  • stronger to begin with, seeing the weaker, overlapping memory as unreliable noise.

  • So this is clearly research in its early stages.

  • But with more work, scientists will get a handle on

  • how sound can influence memory reactivation.

  • In the future, the technique of playing specialized sounds while a person sleeps

  • could help weaken memories that are a lot more harmful than word pairs.

  • While preliminary studies like these can't make any promises,

  • they do keep the research moving forward.

  • Thanks to Fabulous for supporting this SciShow News!

  • Fabulous is an interactive app made to guide you

  • toward your ideal daily routine and help you make it stick.

  • They provide coaching to help you stay accountable and

  • get out of that vicious cycle of setting a goal and then letting yourself down.

  • And it's not the once a month or once a week coaching

  • you might have tried before.

  • Changing your daily routine means thinking about the change every day.

  • So Fabulous has daily coaching sessions created by

  • Stanford psychology professor, Jazmin Quill, to keep you on track.

  • In the amount of time it takes you to go for an extra bathroom break,

  • you can devote three minutes of your day to your own success.

  • To get started, click the link in the description down below.

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  • [♪ OUTRO]

This episode of SciShow News is supported by Fabulous,

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B1 中級 美國腔

鳥叫聲是舒緩焦慮的良方(Birds Are A Quick Fix For Your Anxiety)

  • 59 1
    Justin Hui 發佈於 2022 年 10 月 29 日
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