sensory science

Managing Visual Disorder (09-16-22)

Biliciler, Raghunathan, and Ward evaluated how disorder influences product assessments.  They report that “an advertisement for kitchen tools might display the tools alongside various ingredients, or an advertisement for a bookstore might showcase pictures of the store’s interior. One underlying visual characteristic of such images is the degree of ‘entropy’—or disorder—in their content. . . . we find that while high-entropy images shift consumers’ temporal focus to the past, low-entropy images shift their temporal focus to the future.

Thinking of Nature (09-15-22)

Park, Kim, Lee, and Heo studied how thoughts about nature evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They report that “This study provides a novel approach to understand human perception changes in their experiences of and interactions with public greenspaces during the early months of COVID-19. Using social media data and machine learning techniques, the study delivers new understandings of how people began to feel differently about their experiences compared to pre-COVID times.

Walkability and Greenness, Benefits (09-14-22)

Marquet and colleagues link area walkability and greenness to the activity levels of users.  They found “Using a nationwide sample of working female adults . . . [and] seven days of GPS and accelerometry data. . . . [that] Higher activity space walkability was associated with higher levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity, and higher activity space greenness was associated with greater numbers of steps per week. . . . Highest levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity were observed for participants with both high walkability and high greenness in their activity spaces.

Boosting Learning (09-13-22)

Van der Groen and colleagues link sensory experiences and learning outcomes.  They share that “Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) is a non-invasive electrical brain stimulation method that is increasingly employed in studies of human brain function and behavior, in health and disease. tRNS is effective in modulating perception acutely and can improve learning. . . .

Making Art Sacred (09-12-22)

Chen, Ruttan, and Feinberg studied how art becomes sacred and their findings are likely applicable to other sorts of objects/situations.  The researchers report that they “used art as a case study to develop and test a theory wherein collective transcendence beliefs—beliefs that an object links the collective to something larger and more important than the self, spanning space and time—are a key determinant of the sacredness of objects. . . .

Sensory Art (09-09-22)

Spence studied art linked to bodily sensations.  He shares that “In recent years, there has been something of an explosion of interest in those artworks and installations that directly foreground the bodily senses [often referred to as proprioceptive (or prop.) art]. . . . The entertainment/experiential element of such works cannot be denied, especially in an era where funding in the arts sector is so often linked to footfall. At the same time, however, a number of the works appear to be about little more than entertainment/amusement.

Courtroom Experiences (09-08-22)

Abrams writes about online trials, but her text includes insights into factors that legal professionals find significant in physical courtrooms.   Abrams shares that courtrooms “tend to feel grand and formal, bedecked with wood paneling, an American flag, and security guards.  In a more familiar setting—the living room or the break room at work—might behavior and decision-making differ? ‘Many times, when people come into the courthouse, they’re acting nonchalant,’ said Judge Richard Young. . . .

Workplace Privacy (09-06-22)

Colenberg  and colleagues studied available privacy and workplace satisfaction.  They report that “Eight design features were defined that were expected to influence visual, acoustic and physical privacy, noise from other people and acoustic quality, and which would be easy to report for users. Data were collected through an online survey among office workers in the Dutch public sector. . . . The data indicate that small, relatively isolated rooms predict privacy and noise satisfaction better than privacy screens, soft flooring, and visibility control.

Office Movement (09-02-22)

Koohsari and colleagues studied how worker perceptions of workplace layouts influence how active they are during the day.  The investigators had study participants report their physical activity during the workday and provide details on the design of their workplace.  The Koohsari team interprets their findings by sharing that "There may be a disincentive to move around the office in shared and open-plan offices because of the disruption to work or the potential to be judged.  It may be possible that seeing others (shared and open-plan offices) sitting acts as a cue also to sit more (social


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