An association between nature exposure and physiological measures of emotion and cognition

Curtis Craig, Brittany Neilson, Randy W. Overbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nature environments have significant benefits for human psychological functioning, in both the cognitive and emotional domains. These positive effects have been found primarily with questionnaires, performance measures, and transient physiological measures. This study explores the long-term relationships between degree of nature exposure and physiological states. With a publically available dataset, multiple hierarchical regressions were conducted testing the relationship between reported nature exposure and two physiological measures of cognition and emotion, including alpha band EEG asymmetry and degree of eyeblink startle reflex (EBR). A significant relationship was found with nature exposure and these measures, suggesting that nature has enduring positive effects for human functioning via measured physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1372
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 2016
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2016 - Washington, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2016Sep 23 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the staff of the Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for conducting the research for the MIDUS II Project 5 and also providing their data for analysis. The MIDUS II Project 5 research was funded by the following grant: P01-AG020166, from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2016 by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.


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