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Article

Physiological Effects of Touching Coated Wood

by 1,2,†, 2,† and 2,*
1
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
2
Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070773
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Nature Therapy: Advances in Physiological Evaluation)
This study examined the physiological effects of touching wood with various coating with the palm of the hand on brain activity and autonomic nervous activity. Participants were 18 female university students (mean age, 21.7 ± 1.6 years). As an indicator of brain activity, oxyhemoglobin concentrations were measured in the left and right prefrontal cortices using near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy. Heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate were used as indicators of autonomic nervous activity. The high-frequency (HF) component of HRV, which reflects parasympathetic nervous activity, and the low-frequency (LF)/HF ratio, which reflects sympathetic nervous activity, were measured. Plates of uncoated, oil-finished, vitreous-finished, urethane-finished, and mirror-finished white oak wood were used as tactile stimuli. After sitting at rest with their eyes closed for 60 s, participants touched the stimuli with their palm for 90 s each. The results indicated that tactile stimulation with uncoated wood calmed prefrontal cortex activity (vs. urethane finish and mirror finish), increased parasympathetic nervous activity (vs. vitreous finish, urethane finish, and mirror finish), and decreased heart rate (vs. mirror finish), demonstrating a physiological relaxation effect. Further, tactile stimulation with oil- and vitreous-finished wood calmed left prefrontal cortex activity and decreased heart rate relative to mirror-finished wood. View Full-Text
Keywords: coated wood; tactile; autonomic nervous activity; prefrontal cortex activity; heart rate variability; heart rate; near-infrared spectroscopy; semantic differential method; physiological relaxation; preventive medical effect coated wood; tactile; autonomic nervous activity; prefrontal cortex activity; heart rate variability; heart rate; near-infrared spectroscopy; semantic differential method; physiological relaxation; preventive medical effect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ikei, H.; Song, C.; Miyazaki, Y. Physiological Effects of Touching Coated Wood. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 773. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070773

AMA Style

Ikei H, Song C, Miyazaki Y. Physiological Effects of Touching Coated Wood. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(7):773. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070773

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ikei, Harumi, Chorong Song, and Yoshifumi Miyazaki. 2017. "Physiological Effects of Touching Coated Wood" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, no. 7: 773. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070773

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