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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2358; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112358

Window View and the Brain: Effects of Floor Level and Green Cover on the Alpha and Beta Rhythms in a Passive Exposure EEG Experiment

1
Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117566, Singapore
2
NeuroLandscape, 03-252 Warsaw, Poland
3
Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research & Technology, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117599, Singapore
This paper is dedicated to the dear memory of Jane Chan, who passed away on 16 May 2018.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greener Cities and Healthier Lives in the Asia Pacific)
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Abstract

With the growing interest among researchers, practitioners, and urban decision makers in the influence of the built environment on peoples’ health, there is increasing emphasis on using scientific knowledge to inform urban design, including methods of neuroscience. As window views are the most immediate medium of visual connection with one’s neighbourhood, we surmised that the quality of this view would have an impact on the mental health and well-being of urban dwellers. Accordingly, we investigated how window views taken from different floors of a high-rise block with varying extents of green cover affected 29 healthy residents in an exploratory electroencephalography (EEG) experiment. The results showed that the amount of green cover within the view captured at different floor levels can cause an important interaction effect on the frontal alpha and temporal beta brain oscillations while participants view photographs. These results suggest that the brainwave patterns commonly associated with positive emotional states, motivation, and visual attention mechanisms may be increased by the extent of green cover within the view. This phenomenon seems more pronounced on the higher than lower floors. The observed findings at this stage cannot confirm major effects between floor level, green cover, and brainwaves, however, they emphasize the importance of considering the quality of window views in the planning and design of urban high-rise neighbourhoods. Having a green window view can potentially contribute to the mental health and well-being of urban dwellers. View Full-Text
Keywords: window; view; landscape; high-rise; urban; brain; EEG window; view; landscape; high-rise; urban; brain; EEG
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Olszewska-Guizzo, A.; Escoffier, N.; Chan, J.; Puay Yok, T. Window View and the Brain: Effects of Floor Level and Green Cover on the Alpha and Beta Rhythms in a Passive Exposure EEG Experiment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2358.

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