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Nanda U.,American Art Resources | Chanaud C.,Memorial Hermann Hospital | Nelson M.,University of Houston | Zhu X.,University of Houston | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Emergency Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Wait times have been reported to be one of the most important concerns for people visiting emergency departments (EDs). Affective states significantly impact perception of wait time. There is substantial evidence that art depicting nature reduces stress levels and anxiety, thus potentially impacting the waiting experience. Study Objectives: To analyze the effect of visual art depicting nature (still and video) on patients' and visitors' behavior in the ED. Methods: A pre-post research design was implemented using systematic behavioral observation of patients and visitors in the ED waiting rooms of two hospitals over a period of 4 months. Thirty hours of data were collected before and after new still and video art was installed at each site. Results: Significant reduction in restlessness, noise level, and people staring at other people in the room was found at both sites. A significant decrease in the number of queries made at the front desk and a significant increase in social interaction were found at one of the sites. Conclusions: Visual art has positive effects on the ED waiting experience. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Nanda U.,American Art Resources | Gaydos H.L.B.,Colorado College | Hathorn K.,American Art Resources | Watkins N.,HOK
Environment and Behavior | Year: 2010

Little is known about the restorative impact of visual art on war veterans diagnosable with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A literature review was conducted to identify existing theories and guidelines that address the use of visual art in general acute-care health care settings. Then, case studies of visual imagery's impact on war veterans' trauma-related symptoms were examined. The case studies included the use of visual imagery during art therapy sessions and therapeutic visits to war memorials. Finally, the authors suggest hypotheses that may guide future research on evidence-based guidelines for visual art for war veterans with PTSD. © 2010 SAGE Publications.


Nanda U.,American Art Resources | Pati D.,Texas Tech University | Ghamari H.,American Art Resources | Bajema R.,Texas Tech University
Intelligent Buildings International | Year: 2013

The argument that the environment impacts human perception and behaviour, and vice versa, is not a new one. What is lacking however is a fine-grained, deep understanding of the neural underpinnings that drive human behaviour as a result of environmental interaction. The challenge of simulating three-dimensional environments while mapping brain behaviour (which is still a rather confined activity) has made this initiative daunting. In this article, we argue that a common unit between architectural environments and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments is 'the visual image'. Architecture relies on visual stimuli to conceive, design, present, and even experience environments. fMRI experiments use visual stimuli to induce desired cognitive and emotional states to study the neural underpinnings. Although a wealth of evidence exists in the field of environmental psychology and psychophysiology on how visual images, specifically nature content in visual images, can reduce the negative emotions of fear, pain and anxiety-aiding restoration to a positive state, it is not clear, however, which specific visual properties contribute to this effect. If the specific visual properties could be isolated and correlated to specific emotional response, they could serve as the building blocks for designing not just for functions a design supports, but also the emotions it invokes. In this article we look at the emotional impact of visual stimuli, and bridge the evidence between environmental psychology and neuroscience, within the scope of nature images, to identify specific visual properties that (may) elicit emotional responses. We then investigate a particular visual property 'contours' and explore it within the theoretical paradigm of neuro-architecture to generate specific hypotheses for architecture and neuroscience. Finally, we take the discourse to architecture and explore the relevance of the subject of form, especially rapid emotional response to form, elicited by the specific property of contours. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Pati D.,Texas Tech University | O'Boyle M.,Texas Tech University | Hou J.,Texas Tech University | Nanda U.,American Art Resources | Ghamari H.,Texas Tech University
Health Environments Research and Design Journal | Year: 2015

Objective: To examine whether exposure to curve versus sharp contours in the built healthcare setting produces systematic and identifiable patterns of amygdala activation and behavioral response in healthy adults. Background: Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience suggest that humans prefer objects with a curved contour compared with objects that have pointed features and a sharp-angled contour. An implicit perception of threat represented by sharp objects, in humans, was hypothesized to explain this bias. Method: The study adopted a within-subject experimental design, where 36 subjects (representing three age-groups and both sexes) were exposed to a randomized order of 312 real-life images (objects, interiors, exteriors, landscape, and a set of control images). Amygdala activation was simultaneously captured using functional magnetic resonance imaging technology. Subjects’ preference (like/dislike) data were also collected while in the scanner. Data were collected in 2013. Results: In case of images depicting landscape and healthcare objects, brain scans show significant higher amygdala activation associated with sharp contours. However, in relation to images depicting hospital interiors and exterior envelops, brain scans show significant higher amygdala activation associated with curve contours. These activations pertain to exposure during the precognitive stages of the subjects’ perception. Conclusion: Hospital forms do have systematic impact on fear response during precognitive stages of human perception. Whether this first impression colors the subsequent experience of an actual patient with real illness or injury is unknown. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


Pati D.,HKS Architects | Nanda U.,American Art Resources
Health Environments Research and Design Journal | Year: 2011

Objective: To examine the influence of positive distraction on the behavior and activity of children in two clinic waiting areas. Background: People spend a considerable proportion of time waiting in hospitals. Studies show that the quality of waiting environments influences the perception of quality of care and caregivers, that perception of waiting time is a better indicator of patient satisfaction than actual waiting time, and that the waiting environment contributes to the perception of wait time. In fact, the attractiveness of the physical environment in waiting areas has been shown to be significantly associated with higher perceived quality of care, less anxiety, and higher reported positive interaction with staff. Can positive distractions in waiting areas improve the waiting experience, as indicated by the behavior and activities of children waiting for treatment? Method: Five distraction conditions were randomly introduced in the waiting area of the dental and cardiac clinics of a major pediatric tertiary care center through a single plasma screen intervention. The attention, behavior, and activities of waiting children were recorded. Data on 158 pediatric patients were collected over 12 days during December 2008 and January 2009. Results: Data analysis shows that the introduction of distraction conditions was associated with more calm behavior and less fine and gross movement, suggesting significant calming effects associated with the distraction conditions. Data also suggest that positive distraction conditions are significant attention grabbers and could be an important contributor to improving the waiting experience for children in hospitals by improving environmental attractiveness. © 2011, Vendome Group, LLC.


PubMed | American Art Resources
Type: Journal Article | Journal: HERD | Year: 2010

While there is a growing consciousness about the importance of visually pleasing environments in healthcare design, little is known about the key underlying mechanisms that enable aesthetics to play an instrumental role in the caregiving process. Hence it is often one of the first items to be value engineered. Aesthetics has (rightfully) been provided preferential consideration in such pleasure settings such as museums and recreational facilities; but in healthcare settings it is often considered expendable. Should it be? In this paper the authors share evidence that visual stimuli undergo an aesthetic evaluation process in the human brain by default, even when not prompted; that responses to visual stimuli may be immediate and emotional; and that aesthetics can be a source of pleasure, a fundamental perceptual reward that can help mitigate the stress of a healthcare environment. The authors also provide examples of studies that address the role of specific visual elements and visual principles in aesthetic evaluations and emotional responses. Finally, they discuss the implications of these findings for the design of art and architecture in healthcare.


PubMed | American Art Resources and Texas Tech University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: HERD | Year: 2016

To examine whether exposure to curve versus sharp contours in the built healthcare setting produces systematic and identifiable patterns of amygdala activation and behavioral response in healthy adults.Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience suggest that humans prefer objects with a curved contour compared with objects that have pointed features and a sharp-angled contour. An implicit perception of threat represented by sharp objects, in humans, was hypothesized to explain this bias.The study adopted a within-subject experimental design, where 36 subjects (representing three age-groups and both sexes) were exposed to a randomized order of 312 real-life images (objects, interiors, exteriors, landscape, and a set of control images). Amygdala activation was simultaneously captured using functional magnetic resonance imaging technology. Subjects preference (like/dislike) data were also collected while in the scanner. Data were collected in 2013.In case of images depicting landscape and healthcare objects, brain scans show significant higher amygdala activation associated with sharp contours. However, in relation to images depicting hospital interiors and exterior envelops, brain scans show significant higher amygdala activation associated with curve contours. These activations pertain to exposure during the precognitive stages of the subjects perception.Hospital forms do have systematic impact on fear response during precognitive stages of human perception. Whether this first impression colors the subsequent experience of an actual patient with real illness or injury is unknown.


PubMed | American Art Resources
Type: Journal Article | Journal: HERD | Year: 2010

To determine the stated art preferences of pediatric patients through an art survey and determine whether preferences vary, with different age groups associated with different stages of cognitive development.Exposure to visual art has been shown to have an impact on improved health and satisfaction outcomes. However, there is little literature on the effect of art on pediatric patients. While designing pediatric wards, a common assumption is to use fantasy and Disney-like themes; but research across all age groups on whether children prefer these themes is limited.A survey including 20 images with a variety of subject matter and styles was administered to 64 pediatric inpatients (ages 5-17) at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, TX. Children were asked to rate the selection of, and their emotional response to, the images in the survey. Qualitative comments were recorded. Results were analyzed for each of the three age groups (5-6, 7-10, and 11-17 years) according to Piagets developmental stages, as well as across all age groups.There were significant differences in art preferences across the different age groups, especially with respect to child art (art created by children). Overall, the results for 5-10-year-olds were more significant than those for 11-17-year-olds (adolescents). Nature elements were preferred across all age groups, but all nature images were not rated similarly. Images that were bright and colorful were rated better than images that were pale. The presence of a strong context that children could associate with was a defining feature of preferred images. Content drove preference more than style, though color was a key determinant. Comments on the artwork tended to be more objective/absolute for the youngest patients and more subjective/relative for the oldest.The combination of bright colors, engaging themes, and nature content is consistently highly rated by pediatric patients. However, pediatric preferences vary significantly among the three operational stages, so one should be careful before using the one-size-fits-all approach. Child art, typically used in pediatric wards, is better suited for younger children than for older children.

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