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Research adds to knowledge on nature and human well-being

Time spent in nature benefits humans in myriad ways, with plenty of research literature to support its positive effects on well-being. Now, sustainability scientists at University of Tokyo say they’ve mapped these benefits to reveal 227 distinct pathways in which nature evokes positive responses, as well as a few newly recognized negative ones.

The scientists then grouped these pathways into 16 basic types of human connection with “cultural ecosystem services,” or nonmaterial benefits of nature. These 16 mechanisms include the cognitive, the creative or even the irritative, such as might occur when someone likes the forest but finds wildlife sounds upsetting.

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