Nature and the Amygdala: How Green Spaces Calm the Brain | Neuroscience Insights

Posted on: June 5, 2024
Last Updated: June 5, 2024

In this video, Dr Sanil Rege, Consultant Psychiatrist explores the dynamic interplay between nature and stress regulation for improved mental health.

Video Highlights:

0:00 Introduction to Nature and Stress Modulation

1:08 Stress response, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex.

2:52 Nature’s psychological benefits for mental health

4:09 Study on How Walking in Nature Reduces Amygdala Activity

5:43 Amygdala, stress, and nature’s preventative role in mental health.


Why is studying the effects of the environment on stress-related brain activity crucial? With the rise of urban living, we see a significant increase in mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. This is linked to heightened activity in the amygdala, the brain’s fear center, especially in city environments.

In this video, we explore how the amygdala, along with the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex, forms a key part of the limbic circuit involved in stress responses. You will learn how nature can help reduce amygdala arousal and enhance our brain’s ability to navigate anxieties, akin to the effects of mindfulness and meditation.

Highlighting a pivotal 2022 study by Sudimac, Sale, and Kuhn, we compare the effects of walking in nature versus an urban setting on the brain. The findings are eye-opening: nature walks significantly reduce stress-related amygdala activation, offering a potential preventative strategy against psychological stress and certain mental health conditions.

As urbanization increases, these insights could influence urban planning and architecture, emphasizing the importance of integrating green spaces for mental well-being.

Join us as we discuss how connecting with nature can be a powerful tool in our mental health arsenal at both individual and population levels.

Mental health professionals seeking to stay abreast of the latest advancements in psychiatric research and treatment can visit The Academy by Psych Scene for more information.