Optimum stimulation level (OSL) intrigues neuroscientists, so they frequently study this mental e
Any Designed Environment
Wood is the natural material whose use has been most extensively researched by neuroscientists.
Warmer is not better
Implications for complex tasks
Evoking dynamic mental images
Weir reports on the findings of numerous studies that have established the psychological value of nature-based experiences. The material related to experiencing nature while indoors have the widest applicability. Weir states, for example, that “Berman and colleagues found that study participants who listened to nature sounds like crickets chirping and waves crashing performed better on demanding cognitive tests than those who listed to other sounds like traffic and the clatter of a busy café. . . . .
Kohlova and Urban identified a link between green consumption and perceived social status. As they report, they “examine[d] whether a green profile of consumption affects the social status of consumers. . . . results corroborate the expected positive effect of a green profile of consumption on the social status of consumers [more green consumption, higher perceived social status]. . . . our results imply that the explicit monetary cost of green consumption is not a decisive factor conditioning the effect of green consumption on social status. . .
Researchers have determined that what we hear influences our balance. The investigators report in a literature review published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck that “What people hear and do not hear can have a direct effect on their balance. . . . . ‘This study found that the sounds we hear affect our balance by giving us important information about the environment. . . . ‘ said senior author Maura Cosetti, MD. . . . people had more difficulty staying balanced or standing still on an uneven surface when it was quiet, but had better balance while listening to sounds. . . .
Pfeifer and Wittmann investigated how humans think when a space is silent. They report that “Research on the perception of silence has led to insights regarding its positive effects on individuals. We conducted a series of studies during which individuals were exposed to several minutes of silence in different contexts. Participants were introduced to different social and environmental settings, either in a seminar room at a university or in a city garden, alone or in a group. . .
Kim and Maher studied metaphors that support the development of smart environments, i.e., spaces where technology is embedded. They share that “[the device metaphor]represents performing tasks through users’ direct control. It encompasses providing better service, performance, and ease of control by using an interactive design as a device. . . . A smart environment with embodied interaction is a robot in the sense that it is an intelligent machine capable of performing tasks without explicit human control.. .