Any Designed Environment

Effort and Beauty (06-06-22)

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.

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.

Changing Places

Now that the world is starting to return to its pre-2020 routines (and establish new ones, as needed), how should design evolve to reflect neuroscience research conducted during the pandemic and pre-COVID-19 studies that continue to be relevant?

Boosting Best Behavior

Neuroscientists have developed a rich and nuanced understanding of how design can encourage us to act in ways that our societies value.  Applying what investigators have learned makes life just a little bit (or a lot) better for us all.


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