Quick Mental Refreshment (07-05-21)

Kimura and colleagues assessed the how mentally refreshing various situations are.  They report that they conducted an experiment that “involved measuring the changes in the task performance of the participants (i.e., sustained attention to response task) and the subjective mental workload . . . while the attention restoration was indexed from physiological response (i.e., skin conductance level, SCL) over time. The participants had two types of resting periods in the middle of the task, i.e., by looking at a blank display (simple break) or by watching a nature video having scenes of, e.g., a forest, small waterfall, and rustling leaves (nature break). . . . our results showed that taking breaks that involve the natural environment (i.e., nature break condition) restore the attention directed at a task and decreases the SCL, like in previous studies. Moreover, this effect also occurred with brief (i.e., 5 min) and indirect (i.e., videos) exposure, unlike in previous studies.”

Tsukasa Kimura, Tatsuya Yamada, Yohko Hirokawa, and Kazumitsu Shinohara.  2021.  “Brief and Indirect Exposure to Natural Environment Restores the Directed Attention for the Task.”  Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.619347