Growing up in a greener neighborhood improves children's spatial working memory, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology.
Spatial working memory is responsible for recording information about one's environment and spatial orientation, and it is strongly inter-related with attentional control.
‘Greener neighborhoods are associated with better spatial working memory in children.’
In the study of 4758 11-year-olds living in urban areas in England, lower quantity of neighborhood greenspace was related to poorer spatial working memory and this relationship held in both deprived and non-deprived neighborhoods.
"Our findings suggest a positive role of green space in cognitive functioning. Spatial working memory is an important cognitive ability that is strongly related with academic achievement in children, particularly mathematics performance," said corresponding author Dr. Eirini Flouri, of University College London.
"If the association we established between neighborhood greenspace and children's spatial working memory is causal, then our findings can be used to inform decisions about both education and urban planning."