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Article Autonomic Nervous System Responses to Viewing Green and Built Settings: Differentiating Between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Activity

By A Maas, Rianne Muller, Anoek Braun, Wendy Ka, René Van Lien, Willem Van Mechelen, Agnes E. Van Den Berg and Paul B. Tchounwou

Abstract

Abstract: This laboratory study explored buffering and recovery effects of viewing urban green and built spaces on autonomic nervous system activity. Forty-six students viewed photos of green and built spaces immediately following, and preceding acute stress induction. Simultaneously recorded electrocardiogram and impedance cardiogram signal was used to derive respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and pre-ejection period (PEP), indicators of respectively parasympathetic and sympathetic activity. The findings provide support for greater recovery after viewing green scenes, as marked by a stronger increase in RSA as a marker of parasympathetic activity. There were no indications for greater recovery after viewing green scenes in PEP as a marker of sympathetic activity, and there were also no indications of greater buffering effects of green space in neither RSA nor PEP. Overall, our findings are consistent with a predominant role of the parasympatheti

Topics: stress buffering, stress recovery, natural environment, autonomic nervous system
Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.736.6914
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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