Journal of Wood Science

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 11–16 | Cite as

Physiological effects in humans induced by the visual stimulation of room interiors with different wood quantities

  • Yuko TsunetsuguEmail author
  • Yoshifumi Miyazaki
  • Hiroshi Sato
Original Article


To clarify the visual effects of room interior with wooden materials on humans, pulse rate, blood pressure, and brain activity were measured while the subjects were exposed to visual stimuli using actual-size model rooms. The wood ratios (the ratio of the area covered with wooden material to the whole area of the ceiling, walls, and floor) of the rooms were 0%, 45%, and 90%. Subjective evaluation was also conducted. In the 0% room, diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly, but the observed change in the autonomic nervous activity was relatively small. In the 45% room, a significant decrease in the diastolic blood pressure and a significant increase in pulse rate were observed. This room tended to have the highest scores in subjective “comfortable” feeling. The 90% room caused significant and large decreases in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure at the beginning of the test, but the large coverage of wood appeared to cause a rapid decrease in brain activity and an increase in pulse rate. The present study demonstrated that a difference in wood ratio in the interior caused different physiological responses, especially in the autonomic nervous activity, by using actual-size rooms for the first time.

Key words

Physiological response Wooden interior Visual stimulation NIRS 


  1. 1.
    Suzuki M (1987) Studies on the livability of wooden house (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 33:829–836Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Suzuki M (1988) Wooden residence — habitability (in Japanese). Mokuzai Kogyo 43:67–73Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Haishi T, Norimoto M (1997) Sensory and emotional characteristics of wood V: temperature-humidity environment and wood (in Japanese). J Soc Mater Sci 46:1335–1341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Harada Y, Nakato K, Sadoh T (1983) Thermal properties and sensory warmth of wood surfaces (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 29:205–212Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yasuda A, Sadoh T, Nakato K (1983) Visual and tactile roughness of hardwood surfaces relating to physical roughness (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 29:731–737Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nakamura M, Masuda M (1990) Influence of grooves in wall panels on psychological images I. Influence of groove intervals (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 36:930–935Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nakamura M, Masuda M (1995) Visual characteristics of shadings in edge-grain patterns (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 41:301–308Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kuller R (1986) Physiological and psychological effects of illumination and colour in the interior environment. J Light Vis Env 10:33–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kobayashi H, Sato M (1992) Physiological responses to illuminance and color temperature of lighting. Ann Physiol Anthropol 11:45–49CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yamaguchi M, Hatakeyama E, Suda R, Kikuchi T, Miyazaki Y, Sato M (2001) Effect of visual stimulation of natural scenery on central and autonomic nervous systems (II). In the case of poor correlation between sensory evaluation and physiological responses (in Japanese). Jpn J Physiol Anthropol 6:86–87Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tsunetsugu Y, Miyazaki Y, Sato H (2002) The visual effects of wooden interiors in actual-size living rooms on the autonomic nervous activities. J Physiol Anthropol 21:297–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Boehmer RD (1987) Continuous, real-time, noninvasive monitor of blood pressure: Penaz methodology applied to the finger. J Clin Monit 3:282–287PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Villringer A, Chance B (1997) Non-invasive optical spectroscopy and imaging of human brain function. Trends Neurosci 20:435–442CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shaw RA, Mansfield JR, Kupriyanov VV, Mantsch HH (2000) In vivo optical/near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging of metalloproteins. J Inorg Biochem 79:285–293CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Villringer K, Minoshima S, Hock C, Obrig H, Ziegler S, Dirnagl U, Schwaiger M, Villringer A (1997) Assessment of local brain activation. A simultaneous PET and near-infrared spectroscopy study. Adv Exp Med Biol 413:149–153CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hoshi Y, Tamura M (1993) Dynamic multichannel near-infrared optical imaging of human brain activity. J Appl Physiol 75:1842–1846CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yokoyama K, Araki S, Kawakami N, Takeshita T (1990) Production of the Japanese edition of the Profile of Mood States (POMS): assessment of reliability and validity (in Japanese). Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi 37:913–918PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Suda R, Yamaguchi M, Hatakeyama E, Kikuchi T, Miyazaki Y, Sato M (2001) Effect of visual stimulation of natural scenery on central and autonomic nervous systems (I) — in the case of good correlation between sensory evaluation and physiological response (in Japanese). Jpn J Physiol Anthropol 6:84–85Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tsunetsugu Y, Sato H, Miyazaki Y (2005) Visual effects of interior design in actual-size living rooms on physiological responses. Build Environ 40:1341–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japan Wood Research Society 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuko Tsunetsugu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yoshifumi Miyazaki
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Sato
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Wood EngineeringForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Tsukuba Research InstituteSumitomo Forestry Co. Ltd.IbarakiJapan

Personalised recommendations