While it has been long assumed that the more time you spend in a rural setting the better your mental health, a new study has shed light on why this is.

A team of scientists based in Germany scanned the brains of 32 volunteers from rural and urban areas while they tried to complete puzzles with time limits.

They found that during the exercise the part of the brain which regulates mood and emotion was much more active in those who grew up in cities than it was in those who were raised in rural environments.

The researchers suggest this seemingly ingrained propensity for urbanites to react emotionally to a stressful situation might help explain why city dwellers suffer from anxiety, depression and schizophrenia at higher rates than their rural counterparts.

And why do the brains of urban and rural dwellers process stress differently?

Theories say the urban brain has been adversely affected by pollution, toxins, crowding or noise, and that the rural brain benefits from its exposure to more soothing “green space.”

[Daily Mail]