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Involuntary Attention Restoration During Exposure to Mobile-Based 360° Virtual Nature in Healthy Adults With Different Levels of Restorative Experience: Event-Related Potential Study

Authors
 Kyungmi Chung  ;  Daeho Lee  ;  Jin Young Park 
Citation
 JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, Vol.20(11) : e11152, 2018 
Journal Title
 JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH 
ISSN
 1439-4456 
Issue Date
2018
Keywords
attention ; electroencephalography ; evoked potentials ; smartphone ; surveys and questionnaires ; virtual reality
Abstract
BACKGROUND: With the global trend of urbanization, there are increasing reports of a possible association between decreased exposure to nature and increased occurrence of mental disorders. New 360° virtual reality (VR) technology using smartphones and portable VR glasses can overcome spatial and temporal limitations to help people deal with mental fatigue in everyday life. OBJECTIVE: On the basis of attention restoration theory (ART), this study aimed to investigate whether the amplitude of the mismatch negativity (MMN)/P3a complex could act as an event-related potential (ERP) biomarker of involuntary attention restoration during exposure to 360° virtual nature in healthy young adults with different levels of restorative VR experience. METHODS: A total of 40 healthy adults completed prequestionnaires on demographics and simulator sickness and postquestionnaires on simulator sickness and perceived restorativeness before and after exposure to virtual nature, respectively. During the VR exposure, brain activity was measured by electroencephalography as participants were asked to conduct a 2-tone passive auditory oddball task. RESULTS: The amplitude and latency of the MMN/P3a complex were compared between individuals reporting a highly restorative experience and those reporting a less restorative experience. Although viewing a virtual nature environment, the high restorative group (N=19) exhibited significantly reduced P3a amplitudes compared with the low restorative group (N=20; t38=2.57; P=.02; d=0.59). Particularly, a moderate but significant negative correlation was found between the self-reported restorativeness scores and the P3a amplitudes at the fronto-central region (r=-.38; P=.02). However, the latency of the MMN/P3a complex did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (auditory mismatch negativity: t38=-1.47; P=.15 and P3a: t38=-0.31; P=.76). CONCLUSIONS: Considering individuals' restorative experience, the amplitude of the fronto-central MMN/P3a complex can potentially be employed as a distinct ERP component of interest in involuntary attention restoration during virtual nature experience in healthy young adults. The findings for the 360° virtual nature experience seem to be consistent with those of previous ERP studies on the effects of meditation practice. This study extends the findings of previous ART and ERP studies of real-world meditation, restoration, and mental fatigue management into the virtual world created by mobile phone-based VR glasses and 360° video content.
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DOI
10.2196/11152
Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Jin Young(박진영) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5351-9549
Chung, Kyungmi(정경미) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2754-7631
URI
https://ir.ymlib.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/22282913/166744
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