We know that the ocean is awesome, but marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols believes that humans have an actual inherent, deep-seated “need” for aquatic environments. According to an article from Outside Magazine December 2011, Nichols is trying to scientifically reveal that oceanic environments actually produce neurological benefits such as mood elevation, stress reduction, and better memory. Yes!
In the past couple of years, Nichols has become a sought-after speaker, giving dozens of presentations, from TEDx to adventure-travel trade shows to environmental symposiums. We’ve seen tons of data on rising sea temperatures or plastic pollution or disappearing creatures, but he believes that the best advocate for ocean conservation is if we study our own minds, and scientifically prove all the neurological benefits that the ocean brings us.
Nichols has launched a campaign to create a new field of study he calls neuro-conservation. He hopes to inspire cognitive scientists to examine these fundamental questions, since we all intuitively know there’s something uniquely calming and contemplative about the ocean, but research hasn’t actually validated this.
Hopefully we’ll be a step closer to unraveling the mystery of mind and nature, and the connection between the two. For more information on Nichols’s efforts on the link between neuroscience and ocean science, check out his site: http://www.100blueangels.org/.
One step closer to truly proving that nothing is a better mood elevator than a good surf session!