Natural environment promotes deeper brain functional connectivity than built environment
© Chen et al. 2015
Published: 18 December 2015
Not only genes but also living environments can effectively shape living human infant brain growth and function performance through learning-driven neural plasticity. However, few evidences demonstrated that exposure to different environments may modulate adult brain cognitive functions . This study examined this issue by using the Emotiv EPOC wireless EEG headset  and accompanying software. Brain waves are measured in terms of amplitude (10-100 microvolts) and five frequency bands, i.e., δ (0.5-4 Hz), θ (4-8 Hz), α (8-12 Hz), β (13-25 Hz) and γ (25-70), are examined. Sixteen college students were recruited and randomly assigned to the two conditions. Participants were asked to sit either in a built environment (i.e., a traffic island under an elevated highway), or in a natural environment (i.e., a heavily wooded campus garden). They were first sitting facing walls as baselines excluded for visual exposure for eight one-minute sessions with their eye open and closed in turns (OCOCOCOC), and then they turned to scene facing and exposed to the environment for 20 minutes. EEG was measured in the latter 10 minutes of exposure, as well as during eye-open and eye-closed baseline sessions.
This project is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31271170, 51408429), Shanghai Eastern Scholar SHH1140004 program and Pujiang Program 14PJC099.
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