Graduation Date

Summer 2017

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Carrie Aigner

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Ethan Gahtan

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Elizabeth Larson

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Difficulties with concentration and attention are among the most prevalent symptoms experienced after concussion. Rest has been the most common form of recovery from concussion; however, new research is suggesting mild mental exertion to be an effective aid in recovery. Drawing from Attention Restoration Theory, this study evaluated the idea that cognitive engagement with natural environments can mitigate post-concussion directed-attention deficits. A between subjects repeated measures design was used to test directed-attention after video exposure to restorative/nature and nonrestorative/city environments. Measures of mood, connectedness to environment, and symptomology scores were also collected. No meaningful difference between exposure type was found on the Victoria Stroop task. Results did not show a meaningful difference in directed-attention between the nature and city groups post-intervention, although both groups experienced improved backwards digit span scores. Those in the city condition experienced a decrease in positive affect scores post-intervention. Changes in backwards digit span scores may suggest plasticity of attentional deficits after concussion. Suggestions for future research are discussed including the evaluation of ART as an intervention for clinical populations.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location