The Economist reports that city dwellers are at a significantly increased risk of developing anxiety and mood disorders. Evidence from a new study by Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, a German psychology professor, might point to why.
Urbanites, it turns out, deal with stress differently than rural residents. Meyer-Lindenberg identified a difference in the activity of the amygdalas, with those living in cities having the highest activity in this area of the brain. The amygdala is responsible for memory storage and emotional events, and scientists believe it’s also related to dealing with fear. Meyer-Lindenberg also found that people raised in cities have an off-kilter perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) amygdala link, a condition also present in schizophrenia.