Journal of People, Plants, and Environment | VOL. 25
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Pilot Study on the Physio-psychological Effects of Botanical Gardens on the Prefrontal Cortex Activity in an Adult Male Group

Publication Date Aug 31, 2022

Abstract

Background and objective: With modern lifestyles and the increasing severity of stress-related diseases, the availability and accessibility of the natural environment are critical. Botanical gardens in an urban area can provide opportunities for city dwellers to experience nature and enjoy stress-reducing activities. This study focused on the health-related effects of botanical gardens by investigating prefrontal cortical activity and changes in psychological states.Methods: The experiment was conducted in a national botanical garden located in the city of Sejong, and in an urban area of a contrasting city. Nine healthy adult males participated in the field experiment. Subjects were instructed to 'see and feel' the landscape in a sitting position for 10 minutes, both in the botanical garden and in the city center. The health effects of botanical gardens were verified using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), including changes in cerebral blood flow, and Profile of Mood State (POMS) and Perceived Restoration Scale (PRS).Results: Our findings showed that the oxyhemoglobin concentrations in the left prefrontal cortex were considerably lower in the botanical garden (-0.057 ± 0.003 µM) than in the city center (0.162 ± 0.002 µM, <i>p</i> < .001). Significantly positive psychological responses to the garden environment were found in the analysis of POMS and PRS, compared to the urban setting. These findings may indicate that a botanical garden can reduce negative psychological symptoms and physiological stress levels ...

Concepts

Botanical Gardens Changes In Cerebral Blood Flow Profile Of Mood State Physiological Stress Levels City Center Therapeutic Spaces Left Prefrontal Cortex Prefrontal Cortex Activity Urban Gardens Oxyhemoglobin Concentrations

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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