Increase Productivity/Performance

Desert Rain Smells (06-29-22)

Researchers have investigated the consequences of smelling the sorts of odors present in deserts when it rains.  Nabhan, Daugherty, and Hartung found that “Desert dwellers know it well: the smell of rain and the feeling of euphoria that comes when a storm washes over the parched earth. That feeling, and the health benefits that come with it, may be the result of oils and other chemicals released by desert plants after a good soaking. . . .

Walking and Thinking (06-23-22)

Patelaki and colleagues add to the body of knowledge related to walking’s cognitive implications.  They report that “Mobile brain/body imaging (M0BI) was used to record electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, 3-denstional (3D) gait kinematics and behavioral responses in the cognitive task, during sitting or walking on a treadmill.  In a cohort of 26 young adults, 14 participants improved in measures of cognitive task performance while walking compared with sitting. . . In contrast, 12 participants . . . did not improve.”

Fitting Into Activity-Based Working (06-17-22)

Hoendervanger’s multi-method dissertation probes who can most effectively use activity-based workplaces (ABW).  He shares that “a clear profile arises of workers who best fit with ABW environments, i.e.: high task variety, job autonomy, external and internal mobility, social interaction . . . low need for privacy; few high-complexity tasks, many non-individual tasks; appropriately using open and closed work settings; frequently switching between work settings; relatively young age.

Grooving and Thinking (06-15-22)

Fukuie and colleagues probed how hearing particular sorts of music influences cognitive performance, and their findings may be complicated to apply in group settings, but not solo use ones.  The investigators report that “Hearing a groove rhythm (GR), which creates the sensation of wanting to move to the music, can also create feelings of pleasure and arousal in people, and it may enhance cognitive performance, as does exercise, by stimulating the prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined the hypothesis that GR enhances executive function (EF). . . .

Impulsive Sound and Performance (06-01-22)

Radun and colleagues investigated the effects of impulsive sound on cognitive performance.  They report that “Exposure to impulsive sound (65 dB LAeq) was compared with quiet sound (35 dB LAeq) and steady-state sound (65 dB LAeq). . . . Compared to quiet sound, impulsive sound caused more annoyance, workload, and lack of energy, raised cortisol concentrations, reduced systolic blood pressure, and decreased accuracy. . . . Compared with steady-state sound, impulsive sound was experienced as more annoying and causing a higher workload and more lack of energy.

Music’s Effects (05-16-22)

Birman and Ferguson increase our understanding of the cognitive effects of listening to music.  They report that their study participantswere randomly assigned to four different groups: silence (no music), classical music, rock, and the final group could choose any genre they liked. The California Verbal Learning Test—Second Edition (CVLT-II) was administered to assess participant’s memory. Anxiety was also assessed before and after the memory test to see whether the music had any effect.

Green Space and Cognitive Function (05-12-22)

Jimenez and colleagues found a link between exposure to green space and higher levels of cognitive functioning. They report that, using data from 13,594 women (mean age 61), they determined that “increasing green space was associated with higher scores of overall cognition and psychomotor speed/attention. In contrast, there was no association between green space and learning/working memory. . . . Green space can decelerate cognitive decline by supporting physical activity, psychological restoration, or reducing exposure to air pollution. . . .

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