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). . . .
Grant and Handelman study the evolving role of houses. They report that “Traditionally, the home is regarded as a place of singularization that is to be aligned with the homeowner’s unique identity. This traditional meaning has come to be confronted with a contradictory understanding of the home as a marketplace asset. Homeowners come to experience a market-reflected gaze that shuns singularization while driving homeowners to exhibit expertise in aligning their homes with marketplace standards.
Lieberman, in a study published in Psychological Review, probes how people come to understand the world in which they live. A press release related to his work asks “Why are we so sure that the way we see people, situations and politics is accurate, and the way other people see them is foolishly wrong? The answer, according to new research by UCLA psychology professor Matthew Lieberman, lies in a region of the brain he calls the ‘gestalt cortex,’ which helps people make sense of information that is ambiguous or incomplete — and dismiss alternative interpretations. . . .
Erraiaa and teammates evaluated the importance of aligning scents experienced in a store with brand image. They determined via an experiment that “when the scent is perceived as congruent with the brand image, reactions in the store are more favourable. It is not enough to use a scent that ‘smells good’ or that is congruent with other factors (e.g. sensory environment); the scent must be perceived by consumers as consistent with the brand image.
Peng-Li and colleagues studied how sound influences food eaten. They report that “Soft nature sounds [ocean waves] and loud restaurant noises [chattering and tableware noises] were employed to induce emotional relaxation and arousal respectively. One hundred and one healthy university students completed a repeated-measure design of the LFPQ [Leeds Food Preference Questionnaire]; once with each soundscape playing in the background. . . . nature sounds increased explicit liking of healthy (vs.
Smith explores how humans experience time. He reports that “the passage of time is not directly perceived. . . . This conclusion is supported by the following observations: 1) down through the millennia, there have been recurrent ergonomic efforts to design technological proxies—from the pyramids to the atomic clock—for detecting the passage of time; and 2) these efforts point to our reliance on technology, rather than our own sensory feedback control capabilities, to track time.
Pappas reviews a wide range of research related to road traffic safety. Design related information presented includes “Visually cluttered roads, confusing signage, and broad thoroughfares that practically beg drivers to stomp on the accelerator can encourage behaviors that raise risk. . . . Design choices like medians, trees, and cycle lanes can obstruct drivers’ views of the horizon and move their focus close to the front of their cars, encouraging more cautious driving.”
Liu and colleagues probed how physical effort relates to assessments of natural beauty; their findings linking effort and judgments made are likely applicable more broadly than the tested condition. They report that “participants wearing a heavy backpack gave higher esthetic scores to and generate a strong attentional bias toward the green natural landscapes. Furthermore, the implicit association test (IAT) revealed that a green natural landscape was more readily associated with a high level of relaxation when the participants wore a backpack.
Flouri and teammates set out to learn how physical environments influence decisions made by children. They report that “This study used the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study to investigate the role of greenness of the child’s immediate residential area at ages 9 months and 3, 5, 7, and 11 years in reward and punishment sensitivity, measured using the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT), at age 11 years. Our sample was the children who lived in urban areas at all five time-points and with data on the CGT at the fifth. . . .
Steelcase conducted a pediatric healthcare-related literature review and developed design principles that can be used in a variety of spaces, from waiting areas to exam rooms. Via the literature review, Steelcase determined that in pediatric healthcare settings “engaging young patients in their surrounding environment can help minimize anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Exploration provides choices, and choices provide a sense of control. . . . Children need movement and sensory experiences to reduce stress. . . .