Recent research verifies that being depressed influences how people see the world, literally. Salmela, Socada, Söderholm, Heikkilä, Lahti, Ekelund, and Isometsä “confirmed that the processing of visual information is altered in depressed people, a phenomenon most likely linked with the processing of information in the cerebral cortex.
Noble and Devlin studied patient experiences in psychotherapy waiting rooms. They found via an online survey that “waiting rooms that were welcoming and comfortable as well as large and spacious rated higher for the quality of care and comfort in the environment anticipated by the participant; those that were cramped and crowded rated lower.”
Wichrowski and research partners investigated how nature imagery influences rehabilitation patient experiences. They share that “In settings where patients have high degrees of medical acuity and infection control is a major concern, exposure to the benefits of real nature may be precluded. . . . In these settings, the presence of nature imagery may provide benefits which positively impact patient experience. . . .
Sander and colleagues studied the effects of open plan offices on worker experiences, coupling self-reports and physiological measures: “Employing a simulated office setting, we compared the effects of a typical OPO [open-plan office] auditory environment to a quieter private office auditory environment on a range of objective and subjective measures of well-being and performance. . . . OPO noise . . .
Zhang and Park assessed behavior in underground malls. They share that “a series of exit-finding tasks in virtual malls were simulated. . . . people have a right-turn preference during exit finding.”
Shaoqing Zhang and Soobeen Park. “Study of Effective Corridor Design to Improve Wayfinding in Underground Malls.” Frontiers in Psychology, in press, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.631531
James and colleagues, via a literature review, evaluated employee experiences in cellular offices and more open workspaces. Their research compared data collected for cellular workspaces with information from all other types of work areas (all those without full height walls and a door assigned to one individual). The researchers determined that “working in open-plan workplace designs is associated with more negative outcomes on many measures relating to health, satisfaction, productivity, and social relationships.
Recent articles in the popular press have focused on how ventilation influences the spread of disease. Neuroscience research makes it clear, however, that ventilation also has a significant influence on human thoughts and behaviors.
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