Frontiers in Aging Science

Environmental Enrichment: General Concepts and Research

Author(s): Marios Kyriazis

Pp: 71-98 (28)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681083353116010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The environment plays a huge role both during ageing and in relation to the phenomenon of hormesis. In this chapter I discuss the impact of any stressful stimuli or challenges originating from our environment, and expand the concept of hormesis to take into account the environment in a wider sense. An enriched environment is taken to mean an ‘information-rich’ habitat, including the immediate surroundings of an organism. In the case of humans, these surroundings include not only the physical aspects such as towns, natural landscapes and weather, but also social and virtual elements such as online environments and digital relationships. The discussion lays the foundations for understanding how enriched environments act as vehicles of information which lead to biological modifications. These biological modifications may then participate in a novel evolutionary event, which is the emergence of technoculture, an amalgam of biology and technology. It would be unthinkable to consider human ageing without referring to these new technological developments. Speculative elements such the notion of the ‘noeme’ (a biological- digital entity), empirical research, emerging research and other concepts are discussed within a mutuallyinfluencing landscape, with the emphasis being on the biology of human ageing

Keywords: Cognition, Epigenetics, Environmental enrichment, Gut microbiota, Indefinite lifespan, Internet, Molecular pathological epidemiology, Natural environment, Noeme, Rejuvenation, r-k model, Social enrichment, Technoculture.

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