1887

Abstract

Proposal Summary Behavioral evidences indicate that fluorescent lighting among the indoor environmental variables (i.e., noise, ambient temperature, and air quality) plays a critical role in facilitating or hindering daily activities for the neurotypical population (people who do not have autism, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, bipolar disorder, or ADD/ADHD) (Rashid & Zimiring, 2008). For a neurodiverse population (e.g., ADD/.ADHD, Autistic, etc.), this becomes more complex (Amor, Oboyle, Pati, Pham, & Jou, 2014; Amor, Pati & OBoyle, 2013; Pati, Amor, & OBoyle, 2012). Specifically, autistic subjects become more distracted under fluorescent lighting, which generates agitation, hyperactivity, stress, and weaker cognitive skills, hence contributing to negative health and performance effects. For autistic subjects, functional neuroimaging suggests increased neural activity in sensory areas of the brain normally associated with stimulus driven processing, and decreased activity in areas normally associated with higher cognitive processing. Hence, people with autism show unusually high activation in ventral occipital areas and abnormally low activation in prefrontal and parietal areas (Baron-Cohen, S. 2004). These findings remain controversial and debatable (Dawson, G. & Watling, R. 2000; O'Neil, Meena & Robert Jones, 2007), particularly that the impact of environmental stimulus (light, color, sound, etc.) were not included. In a collaborative research between Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, Hamad Medical Center Neuro-Radiology and Clinical Imaging Department, and Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs, the purpose of this research is to: 1) explore and compare behavioral and neural responses and their impact on cognitive processes of autistic subjects, when exposed to 3 types of fluorescent lighting Correlated Color Temperatures CCT, and 2) explore the impact of different color temperatures on the activation of the prefrontal and parietal areas, brain regions associated with cognition that experience minimal neural activity for people with autism. An experimental design will be used; subjects will be exposed to three types of correlated color temperatures in three applications—healthcare, academia, and commercial—while their neural and behavioral responses will be recorded. The participants undergo 1) an anatomical scan and 2) a functional scan, using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) technology. Behavioral data will be analyzed using t-test factor analysis and one-way analysis of variance, while the neural data maps will be analyzed using FSL Neuroimaging Software. This research aims at providing behavioral and fresh neural benchmark data for designers, architects, facility planners, and industry professionals relative to lighting color temperature that facilitates or inhibits cognitive skills of autistic subjects.

Precedents

This line of inquiry finds impetus in Qatar National Research Strategy (2012) Pillar V, Social Science, Arts, and Humanities—develop methodological innovations, new data sources, and new measurements in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Qatar, while enjoying a period of unparalleled prosperity, is faced with undreamed of opportunities and complex challenges. Among the future challenges is the necessity to establish advanced education, healthcare, and commercial environments that “provide citizens with [built environments] and opportunities to develop to their full-potential” (QNV, 2030, p.18). To address the present need, this study aims at developing a body of neuro-behavioral evidences that can facilitate the development of future design guidelines, further enhancing neurodiverse populations'(i.e., autistic subjects) experiences in their education, work, leisure, and living environments. This subsumes the development of design solutions that do not impede, but rather facilitate. These data are needed particularly that the intellectually challenged institutions are growing in Qatar, including but not limited to Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs, Awsaj Academy, and the Center for Autism. The present line of inquiry and outcomes will provide data that will benefit domestic, regional, and worldwide populations. “It is very difficult to say how many people have this kind of condition in Qatar simply because the statistics are not accurate, as people do not disclose their disabilities because of social and cultural barriers” (Qatar Peninsula, 2013). However, the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that the global median rate of autism prevalence has been estimated at 62 per 10,000, although some studies have placed it substantially higher. And for the Middle East, it may be an even bigger concern (Lamb & Lerner, 2015). In a recent study, Simons Foundation for Autism Research Initiative (2014) looked at the prevalence of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Western Australia, the findings indicated that between 2000 and 2011, the number of diagnoses for each disorder grew between 100 and 700 percent. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014) reports that the estimated prevalence of Autism Spectrum Syndrome (ASD) in the United States has increased roughly 29% since 2008, 64% since 2006, and 123% since 2002. Autism statistics in the U.S. is reaching a status which deserves special attention. For instance, more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder, and it is predicted that in 10 years the annual services cost to cater for this population will range between $200–400 billion (Autism Society, 2014). Autism, Design and Neuroscience Emerging neuroscience research shows that environmental-related activity such as cognition, perception, way finding, and their behavioral consequences—anxiety, stress, happiness, and arousal—are both reflected in the structures and electro-chemical processes of the brain (Amor, Pati, & O'Boyle, 2013; Pati, Amor, & O'Boyle, 2012; Eberhard, 2007; Mallgrave, 2011; Swanson, 2011; Zeisel, 2006). Behavioral evidences indicate that fluorescent lighting among the indoor environmental variables (i.e., noise, ambient temperature, and air quality) plays a critical role in facilitating or hindering daily activities for the neuro-typical[1] population (Rashid & Zimiring, 2008). For the neuro-diverse population[2], this becomes more complex. Specifically, autistic subjects become more distracted under fluorescent lighting, which generates agitation, hyperactivity, stress, and weaker cognitive skills, hence contributing to negative health and performance effects (Carpman & Grant, 1993; Colman, Frankel, Rit Ritvo, & Freeman, 1976). For autistic subjects, functional neuroimaging suggests increased neural activity in sensory areas of the brain normally associated with stimulus driven processing, and decreased activity in areas normally associated with higher cognitive processing. Hence, people with autism show unusually high activation in ventral occipital areas and abnormally low activation in prefrontal and parietal areas (Baron-Cohen, S. 2004; Howard A. Ring, Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright, Steve C. R. Williams, Mick Brammer, Chris Andrew & Edward T. Bullmore, 1999). These findings remain controversial and debatable (Dawson, G. & Watling, R. 2000; O'Neil, Meena & Robert Jones, 2007) suggesting the need for more systematic research. While there is a growing body of debatable environment behavior literature relative to the impact of fluorescent lighting on cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial outcomes, little is known about the correlation between neural activity and the impact of fluorescent lighting correlated color temperature (CCT) on indoor behavioral outcomes. Neuroscience has revealed that seeing color activates the ventral occipital cortex, including the fusiform and lingual gyri (Hsu, Sharon & Thompson-Schill, 2012; Morita, Kochiyama, Okada, Yonekura, & Sadato, 2004), but little is known about the changes in this neural activity under different lighting color spectrums—Correlated Color Temperature—CCT and Spectral Energy Distribution—SED.

Objectives/Significance of the Study

The objective of this study is to 1) explore and compare behavioral and neural responses of autistic subjects, when exposed to 3 types of fluorescent lighting Correlated Color Temperatures: a) Warm White WW with a 2700 CCT, b) Cool White CW with a 4100 CCT, and c) Daylight DX with 5500 CT, when presented under three different settings—commercial, educational, and healthcare. 2) The second objective is to explore the impact of different color temperatures on the activation of the prefrontal and parietal areas, brain regions associated with cognition that experience minimal neural activity for people with autism, and 3) compare the present findings with a prior study conducted by our group relative to ADHD populations. This research aims at providing innovative behavioral and neural benchmark data relative to lighting color temperature that facilitates or inhibits cognitive skills of a autistic subjects.

Research Design and Methods

An experimental design will be used for this study to collect behavioral and neural data. The same group of autistic subjects will be exposed to three categories of pictures—academic, commercial, and healthcare, including three different types of Color Correlated Temperature (CCT) for each category. A comparative analysis of behavioral and neural data will be performed to identify similarities and differences. Also, an IRB protocol for conducting the present investigation will be requested from the Virginia Commonwealth University and Hamad Medical Center. A purposive sampling strategy will be used to identify 50 participants living in Doha, Qatar. The sampling will be used in two phases: 25 subjects first year (subjects age ranging between 6–12 years old) and 25 additional subjects for the second year experiment (subjects age range between 12 and up). Participants for this study will be recruited through a close collaboration with Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs. Data on brain activity will be collected via Functional Magnetic Research Imaging (Siemens 3T) at Hamad Medical Center Neuro-Radiology and Clinical Imaging Department, which is a multi-user neuroimaging facility. The participants will undergo 1) an anatomical scan T1 (5 minutes) and 2) an EPI functional scan (17 minutes), while a random sequence of three types of digitally generated high resolution illustrations from the aforementioned categories (i.e., warm white 2800 CCT, cool white 4100 CCT, and daylight 5500 CCT) will be projected by a computer controlled visual presentation system (E-Prime). Each image category will include 6 images (2 commercial, 2 educational, and 2 healthcare interior environments) for a total of 72 images (18 images blocked by application, 18 randomly organized, then reverse the order) that every participant evaluates. Concomitantly, the participants will be asked to respond to each image by fiber optic button devise, rating each image on a seven-point Likert satisfaction scale of 1 = very dissatisfied and 7 = very satisfied. This procedure will approximately last for 20–30 minutes for each participant. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM8, Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, London, UK, will be used in the imaging preprocessing as well as the statistical analysis.

Anticipated Findings and Dissemination Plans

It is anticipated that the comparison of neural and behavioral data will indicate that the least satisfying color is the Warm White Color Temperature (2800 K). The Cool White 4100K and Full Spectrum 6000K correlated color temperatures might generate better levels of behavioral satisfaction and neural activation of the Cerebellum, the Superior Temporal Gyrus, the Middle Frontal Gyrus, and the Angular Gyrus, respectively responsible for critical structure of social interaction, analytical tasks, and memory retrieval that are very suggestive for the activation of the neural cognitive processes. Members of the research team will contribute papers to peer reviewed international journals, including but not limited to the Health and Environmental Design Research Journal (http://her.sagepub.com/), and the Environment and Behavior Journal (http://eab.sagepub.com/). Team members will also deliver presentations at relevant international conferences, such as the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture annual conference (http://www.anfarch.org), the Healthcare Design annual conference (http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com), and the Environmental Design Research Association (www.edra.org). Similarly, the research findings will be published with QScience.com, an innovative and collaborative, peer-reviewed, online publishing platform from Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (BQFJ) (www.Qscience.com). The outcome of the research will be further shared with the HBKU Faculty Forum lecture series.

  •   [1] Neuro-typical (NT) is a concept coined in the autistic community as a label for people who are not on the autism spectrum. The term eventually became used for anyone who does not have atypical neurology, however, in other words, anyone who does not have autism, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, bipolar disorder, or ADD/ADHD (National Symposium on Neuro-diversity, 2012).
  • [2] Neuro-diverse (ND) is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others (National Symposium on Neuro-diversity, 2012).

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2016.SSHAPP1744
2016-03-21
2019-12-07
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