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Effects of the Aural and Visual Experience on Psycho-physiological Recovery in Urban and Rural Environments

Park, Sang Hee and Lee, Pyoung-Jik and Jung, Timothy and Swenson, Alasdair (2020) Effects of the Aural and Visual Experience on Psycho-physiological Recovery in Urban and Rural Environments. Applied Acoustics, 169. p. 107486. ISSN 0003-682X

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Abstract

This study examined the effects of aural and visual experience on psycho-physiological recovery in simulated environments. Laboratory experiments were conducted with 32 participants. Ten horror videos were used as stressor clips, while five videos depicted urban or rural settings as recovery clips. The videos were presented via VR (head-mounted display) and on a monitor screen. The effect of the audio presentation was tested by presenting the stimuli with or without sound. Psychological recovery was assessed using a set of questions (e.g., perceived preference). Physiological recovery was measured with five physiological responses (e.g., fEMG and HR) monitored throughout the experiment. It was found that the rural setting led to a better psycho-physiological recovery than the urban setting when the stimuli were presented both in the VR and Screen conditions. In particular, the rural setting with water features evoked the greatest recovery. The rural setting presented with water sound showed significant differences in psychological recovery between Audio-Visual and No-Audio conditions. Compared to the Screen condition, stimuli presented in the VR condition did not have any main effect on the psychological recovery; however, it showed main effects on some of the physiological responses. The audio presentation had significant impacts on all psychological recovery ratings but it showed an impact on only one physiological response, fEMG of the zygomatic muscle.

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