Nature soundscapes and cognitive performance in an office environment

Date

2019-04-23

Authors

Pittman, Maxwell

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Abstract

Research suggests that interacting with nature has positive psychological, physiological, and cognitive benefits. Views to nature, interacting with nature, and other visual nature stimuli have been widely studied. However, nature soundscapes have received less attention; and the limited research that has been published has mixed findings. The present study assessed whether nature soundscapes influenced performance on cognitive and affective assessments. Participants completed the Flanker task, the Stroop task, a Visual Search task, and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, while exposed to either nature sounds alone, nature sounds with outdoor views, or neither. No statistically significant differences in performance were found for any of the three conditions, on either the cognitive and affective assessments. These findings indicate that the relation between nature sounds and cognition is more complex than originally presumed, and potential future directions are discussed.

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Keywords

biophilia, biophilic hypothesis, attention restoration, attention restoration theory, nature sounds, nature soundscapes

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