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.
Jia and colleagues studied factors influencing whether people feel crowded. They report that their work indicates “that walking velocity depicts pedestrian perceived congestion more accurately than density. . . . the larger the gap between the desired and actual velocities, the larger the extent of the perceived congestion.”
The Center for Health Design is providing free, at the web address noted below, an interactive rendering highlighting key research that can be applied during the design of treatment rooms in emergency departments. As noted on the website on which the diagram appears, “Two goals are often at the center of current care models for mental or behavioral health: safety and healing. In the Emergency Department, design has traditionally focused on safety for both patients and staff through checklists for ligature-resistance.
Sorokowska and colleagues investigated how personal space preferences influenced COVID-19’s spread; interpersonal spacing is a core environmental psychology research area. The Sorokowska-lead team report that “it was explored if interpersonal distance preferences . . . were valid measures of physical distancing in contacts between strangers and whether they related to country-level variation in early dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 spread.
Researchers from the University of Exeter have identified some benefits of playing outdoors and their findings can be used to encourage the development and maintenance of outdoor play areas for children. The investigators report, in a study published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, that “children who spend more time playing outside had fewer ‘internalising problems’ – characterised as anxiety and depression. Those children were also more positive during the first lockdown. . . .
Some hotels benefit more from installing electric vehicle charging stations that others. Qian and Zhang share that “Using evidence from monthly revenue data of 2,774 hotels in Texas of United States (US) between 2015 and 2018, this paper quantifies the economic benefits of hotels hosting Tesla’s charging facilities and finds that nearby attractions amplify the benefits. . . . The findings reveal that upscale hotels benefit more than luxury as well as mid-price and cheaper hotels from hosting Tesla charging facilities.
Brochu and collaborators studied links between how green an area is and the death rates of residents. They “conducted a nationwide [in the United States] quantitative health impact assessment to estimate the predicted reduction in mortality associated with an increase in greenness across two decades (2000, 2010, and 2019).
Some researchers are suggesting that smell and taste be considered one sensory channel, not two. A paper to be published in The Quarterly Review of Biology written by Mollo and 14 colleagues “proposes the unification of all chemosensory modalities into a single sense. . . . The paper thus envisages a rupture with what emerges as one of the most deeply rooted confirmation biases in the scientific literature: the differentiation between gustation (taste) and olfaction (smell). . . .
An exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco; February 12 to June 5, 2022, “Living with Scents”) focuses on scent-based experiences. The show’s website reports that “researchers and practitioners, from the neurosciences to the humanities, have strived to gain a better understanding of the sense of smell, which deeply, yet often unknowingly, shapes the way we live: our eating habits, our social interactions, our emotions, memories, and even our well-being and safety. . . . scents may thus be purposefully used to improve many aspects of our lives. . . .
Straffon and colleagues assessed people’s responses to artworks that they created. The researchers report that “Self-made objects tend to be favored, remembered, valued, and ranked above and beyond objects that are not related to the self. On this basis, we set out to test whether the effects of self-relevance would apply to visual art, and via what mechanisms. In three studies, participants created abstract paintings that were then incorporated in a dot-probe task, pairing self-made and other-made stimuli. Our findings confirm that attention and preference are higher for self-made (vs.