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Influence of Nature on Effortful Processing of Emotionally Charged Stimuli

Semester: Summer 2023


Presentation description

Immersion in nature has been shown to benefit human cognition by improving attention, as well as mood. Although there is a substantial body of research in support of these benefits, the true extent of these benefits and the underlying neural mechanism behind them remain contested. This study was conducted to examine if exposure to nature resulted in improved processing of emotionally charged stimuli, and how any difference compared to established benefits to neutral stimuli. Participants (n = 27) were evaluated with the Stroop Task and the Emotional Stroop task using a within-subjects design in an urban environment and after being immersed in nature for several days. Testing environments were counterbalanced to account for bias from repeated measures. During each testing session, participants were also evaluated on their perceived connectedness to nature, as this has been strongly correlated with benefits from immersion in nature in previous studies. Results did not show significant difference performance on either task from immersion in nature. Perceived connectedness to nature did not have a significant interaction on the effect of immersion in nature on performance of either task. These findings suggest the present study did not have sufficient power to detect effects, or that other interactions not considered may be present.

Presenter Name: Matt Storie

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #42
College: Social & Behavioral Science
School / Department: Psychology
Research Mentor: Amy McDonnell
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM