Date of this Version
Children, Youth and Environments 27(2), 2017
This study explored the influence of green environments on children’s cognitive functions by using an experimental, within-subjects design to compare children’s neural responses as they engaged in assessments of attention, inhibitory control, and spatial working memory in two different environments: a natural outdoor area and an indoor laboratory room. Ten children ages 6 to 11 years (M= 9.3; SD= 1.5) participated. Children performed significantly better on the spatial working memory task outdoors compared to indoors. There were no significant differences in attention or inhibitory control, but two markers of neurological activity were significantly larger indoors than outdoors, suggesting that more cognitive resources were needed to achieve the same level of performance indoors compared to outdoors.