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  • 1.
    Annerstedt, Matilda
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.
    Jönsson, Peter
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Lund University.
    Wallergård, Mattias
    Lund University.
    Johansson, Gerd
    Lund University.
    Karlson, Björn
    Lund University.
    Grahn, Patrik
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.
    Hansen, Ase Marie
    National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Währborg, Peter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.
    Inducing physiological stress recovery with sounds of nature in a virtual reality forest: results from a pilot study2013In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 118, p. 240-50Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Experimental research on stress recovery in natural environments is limited, as is study of the effect of sounds of nature. After inducing stress by means of a virtual stress test, we explored physiological recovery in two different virtual natural environments (with and without exposure to sounds of nature) and in one control condition. Cardiovascular data and saliva cortisol were collected. Repeated ANOVA measurements indicated parasympathetic activation in the group subjected to sounds of nature in a virtual natural environment, suggesting enhanced stress recovery may occur in such surroundings. The group that recovered in virtual nature without sound and the control group displayed no particular autonomic activation or deactivation. The results demonstrate a potential mechanistic link between nature, the sounds of nature, and stress recovery, and suggest the potential importance of virtual reality as a tool in this research field.

  • 2.
    Fich, Lars Brorson
    et al.
    Aalborg University.
    Jönsson, Peter
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap.
    Kirkegaard, Poul Henning
    Aarhus University.
    Wallergård, Mattias
    Lund University.
    Garde, Anne Helene
    National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen.
    Hansen, Åse
    University of Copenhagen.
    Can architectural design alter the physiological reaction to psychosocial stress?: a virtual TSST experiment2014In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 135, p. 91-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has long been established, that views to natural scenes can a have a dampening effect on physiological stress responses. However, as people in Europe, Canada and North America today spent 50-85% of their time indoors, attention might also be paid to how the artificial man-made indoor environment influences these mechanisms. The question that this study attempts to start addressing is therefore whether certain design, characteristics of indoor spaces can make a difference to the physiological stress response as well. Using a virtual version of the Trier Social Stress Test, in which the space is computer generated and properties of the space therefore can be systematically varied, we measured saliva cortisol and heart rate variability in participants in a closed room versus a room with openings. As shown by a significant linear contrast interaction between groups and TSST conditions, participants in the closed room responded with more pronounced cortisol reactivity to stress induction, and continued to show higher levels throughout recovery, compared to participants in the open room. No differences were found regarding any part of the autonomic nervous system.

  • 3.
    Jönsson, Peter
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Lund University.
    Österberg, Kai
    Lund University.
    Wallergård, Mattias
    Lund University.
    Hansen, Åse Marie
    Danmark.
    Garde, Anne Helene
    Danmark.
    Johansson, Gerd
    Lund University.
    Karlson, Björn
    Lund University.
    Exhaustion-related changes in cardiovascular and cortisol reactivity to acute psychosocial stress2015In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 151, p. 327-337Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prior findings indicate that individuals scoring high on vital exhaustion show a dysfunctional stress response (DSR), that is, reduced cortisol reactivity and habituation to psychosocial stressors. The main aim of the present study was to examine whether a DSR may be a vulnerability factor in exhaustion disorder (ED). We examined whether a DSR is present during early stages of ED, and still is present after recovery. Three groups were studied: 1. Former ED patients (n=14); 2. Persons who during the past 6 month had experienced stress at work and had a Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ) score over 3.75, considered to indicate a pre-stage of ED (n=17); 3. Persons who had not experienced stress at work during the past 6 months and had a SMBQ score below 2.75 (n=20). The participants were exposed twice to a virtual version of Trier Social Stress Test (V-TSST), during which salivary cortisol samples were collected. In addition, high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), heart rate (HR), t-wave amplitude (TWA), and α-amylase were assessed to examine stress reactivity and habituation in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The initial analyses showed clear hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activations in both V-TSST sessions, together with habituation of cortisol and heart rate in the second session, but without any significant group differences. However, the former ED patients showed considerable variation in self-reported signs of exhaustion (SMBQ). This led us to assign former ED patients with lower ratings into the low SMBQ group (LOWS) and those with higher ratings to the high SMBQ group (HIGHS). When repeating the analyses a different picture emerged; the HIGHS showed a lower cortisol response to the V-TSST than did the LOWS. Both groups' cortisol response habituated to the second V-TSST session. The ANS responses did not differ between the two groups. Thus, persons in a pre-stage of ED and unrecovered former ED patients showed signs of DSR, in contrast to healthy controls and recovered former ED patients. The results may be interpreted as indicating that DSR in the HPA axis is present early on in the stress process, but subsides after successful recovery.

  • 4.
    Önning, Gunilla
    et al.
    Lunds universitet.
    Hillman, Magnus
    Lunds universitet.
    Hedin, Maria
    Lunds universitet.
    Montelius, Caroline
    Probi AB.
    Eriksson, Joakim
    Lunds universitet.
    Ahrné, Siv
    Lunds universitet.
    Jönsson, Peter
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Psykologi.
    Intake of Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9 reduces the inflammatory markers soluble fractalkine and CD163 during acute stress: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study2020In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The intestine and the brain are connected via the brain-gut axis and the intestinal microbiota influences the immune activation and signaling molecules that are involved in the stress response. The aim of the study was to investigate if intake of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9 (LPHEAL9) for four weeks could counteract elevated cortisol and inflammation levels in subjects with chronic stress that are exposed to an acute stress test (Trier Social Stress Test, TSST). Seventy participants were included, and 63 participants completed the study (LPHEAL9, n=32; placebo, n=31). Cardiovascular reactivity and cortisol levels were affected by the TSST, but no differences between the groups were observed. Intake of LPHEAL9 did, however, result in significantly decreased plasma levels of two inflammatory markers (soluble fractalkine and CD163) compared to placebo. In conclusion, intake of LPHEAL9 for four weeks may reduce inflammatory markers coupled to acute stress in chronically stressed individuals.

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