University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Situated in the top outdoor ranking city of Chattanooga, the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) includes diverse areas available for student rest and recreation. This study aims to introduce UTC students into the collection of studies on the effects of natural environments on Attention Restoration Theory (ART) by using the Stroop cognitive test and portable electroencephalograph (EEG) headsets. Participants completed the Stroop test after ten-minute mental restoration sessions in environments of varying natural exposure included on campus. Through analysis of variance, location was found to significantly influence performance on Stroop testing and measures of relaxation (p=0.030). Participants performed with highest Stroop success and measured highest relaxation after resting in environments of natural exposure. Student Stroop performance was poorest after resting in the indoor area with no outdoor exposure to natural environments. Measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and Theta Beta ratio (TBR) also showed significant impact on Stroop performance (p=0.015 and p=0.009, respectively). Results support that natural environments hold mentally restorative abilities specific to student cognitive performance. This experiment contributes evidence of the influence of natural environments on cognitive restoration to encourage student visitation to mentally restorative areas and educate health policy and planning.
I would like to thank my wonderful director Dr. Jodi Caskey for her patience and endless support with my endeavor. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Andrew Bailey of Health and Human Performance for outstanding guidance and exceptional support. I also would like to acknowledge the continual support and participation of the staff and students of the honors college at UTC. The support of UTC Honors College Dean Dr. Linda Frost through programming, funding, and encouragement has proven irreplaceable.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Attention; College students--Mental health
Moore, Jesse, "Mentally restorative areas for students: impacts of nature on psychophysiological state" (2021). Honors Theses.