Human physiological benefits of viewing nature: EEG responses to exact and statistical fractal patterns.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Psychological and physiological benefits of viewing nature have been extensively studied for some time. More recently it has been suggested that some of these positive effects can be explained by nature's fractal properties. Virtually all studies on human responses to fractals have used stimuli that represent the specific form of fractal geometry found in nature, i.e. statistical fractals, as opposed to fractal patterns which repeat exactly at different scales. This raises the question of whether human responses like preference and relaxation are being driven by fractal geometry in general or by the specific form of fractal geometry found in nature. In this study we consider both types of fractals (statistical and exact) and morph one type into the other. Based on the Koch curve, nine visual stimuli were produced in which curves of three different fractal dimensions evolve gradually from an exact to a statistical fractal. The patterns were shown for one minute each to thirty-five subjects while qEEG was continuously recorded. The results showed that the responses to statistical and exact fractals differ, and that the natural form of the fractal is important for inducing alpha responses, an indicator of a wakefully relaxed state and internalized attention.

Details

Authors
  • Caroline Hagerall
  • Thorbjörn Laike
  • Richard Taylor
  • Marianne Küller
  • Elizabeth Marcheschi
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalNonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences
Volume19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Environmental Psychology (011036009)