Page 7

The fruit With so much of life based on electronic representations of reality, humans risk losing touch with nature, says University of Washington psychologist Peter Kahn. From web cams that offer views of wildlife to virtual tours of the Grand Canyon to robotic pets, modern technology increasingly is encroaching into human connections with the natural world. Kahn and his colleagues believe this intrusion may emerge as one of the central psychological problems of our times. “We are a technological species, but we also need a deep connection with nature in our lives,” Kahn argues. “What do we compare technology to? If we compare it to no nature, technological nature works pretty well,” Kahn said. “But if we compare it to actual nature, it doesn’t seem to provide as many psychological benefits.”