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By the age of 3, children appreciate nature's fractal patterns

https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/fractal-patterns-children

bigthink.com

By the age of 3, children appreciate nature's fractal patterns
A new study from the University of Oregon found that, by the age of three, children not only notice nature's fractal patterns, but they prefer them.

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Defining fractal patterns

Defining fractal patterns

A fractal pattern is a basic pattern that repeats at different scales.

  • Exact fractals repeat exactly at every scale, for example, the growth spiral of a plant.
  • Statistical fractals repeat in similar but not identical fashion across scales and are not spatially symmetrical, for example, clouds, mountains, rivers, and trees.

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Appreciation of fractal patterns

Fractal patterns have always been apparent in nature, from seeds and pinecones to ferns. Now they are becoming more evident in man-made objects.

Studies revealed that children as young as three consistently preferred common fractal patterns. Prior to these studies, exposure to fractal patterns was expected to vary across a person's lifespan due to environmental and developmental patterns.

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Benefitting from fractal patterns

Exposure to fractal patterns in nature can reduce your stress levels significantly. Some research indicates that certain types of artwork containing fractal patterns can also promote relaxation.

To benefit from fractal patterns, pay close attention to the patterns you see when taking a walk in nature, visiting a park, or watching the clouds for a while.

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