Nearly two years ago, we began working with the awesome Hunter Schone & University College London in support of their brain research study to investigate that exact question.
With our handy Litterpicker Pro litter pickers and an amazing group of volunteer litter pickers throughout the UK! The team at UCL specifically studied long term litter pickers users to see whether all of their years of cleaning up litter with a litter picker might lead their brains to think about their litter picker more like an actual body-part (instead of just a tool), relative to novice litter pickers.
To do this, Hunter and team UCL developed a brain research study where litter picking participants watched videos of hands and tools during MRI brain scans. From looking at how their brains responded to the videos, we got an exciting, unexpected result! The brains of the long term litter pickers think about their litter picker in a much more unique, distinct way compared to those who have not litter picked, i.e, their litter picking experience caused their brains to change the way they think about tools! It’s cool to see that individuals who are volunteering their time to pick up litter in their communities have a unique brain advantage!
The research team would like to take this opportunity to thank:
Helping Hand Environmental
Keep Britain Tidy
And BIG THANK YOU to the amazing litter picking research participants, some who have been litter picking regularly in their communities for over 10 years!
The early release of the research paper is available : https://www.jneurosci.org/…/02/08/JNEUROSCI.2489-20.2020