Poster C9, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Greater Theta and Delta Synchrony When Viewing Built versus Natural Environments in a Passive Oddball Task
Salif Mahamane1, Nick Wan1, Allison Hancock1, Alexis Porter2, Kerry Jordan1; 1Utah State University, 2Carnegie Mellon University
Previous spectral analyses have shown greater alpha synchrony in adults while viewing or immersed in natural environments compared to built. These results are consistent with attention restoration theory (ART), which posits that natural environments – which better engage bottom-up attention – more effectively restore attentional resources than built environments. In an ERP study (n = 60) in which nature and built scenic images alternated roles as standard (p = .80) and target (p = .20) stimuli between trial blocks, we ran spectral analyses of data from the 1000ms window beginning at stimulus onset, comparing average power on five bandwidths (alpha, theta, delta, beta, gamma) between natural and built environments. A repeated-measures ANOVA revealed main effects of channel and stimulus showing significantly greater theta synchrony immediately following built scenes compared to nature scenes. This finding suggests a greater demand on cognitive resources while processing built versus natural stimuli. A second repeated-measures ANOVA revealed main effects of channel and stimulus showing significantly greater delta synchrony immediately following built scenes versus natural. As delta synchrony is implicated in signal detection, this finding may indicate that participants implicitly categorize built and natural environments. There were no significant differences between viewed categories with respect to alpha, beta, or gamma bandwidths. These results are aligned with ART, and our ERP finding that late positive potential activation is greater for built than natural scenes. Implications for future research in this vein will be discussed.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Other