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Exploring the impact of autumn color and bare tree landscapes in virtual environments on human well-being and therapeutic effects across different sensory modalities.

UNLABELLED: In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the potential health benefits of the natural environment for human well-being. Given the fast-paced nature of contemporary lifestyles, research into the use of virtual environments as a means to provide various seasonal landscapes has gained increasing importance.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of different sensory modes on the preferences and therapeutic effects of virtual autumn landscapes on university campuses.

METHODS: In this study, 320 participants, with an average age of 21.11 years (±1.21 years), were exposed to virtual environments featuring autumn color landscapes and bare tree landscapes using visual, auditory, and combined conditions. A control group was included for comparison. Differences in participants' physiological indicators (EEG, heart rate) and psychological measures (POMS, PANAS, SVS, ROS) were analyzed, with the use of the Holm correction (P < 0.05).

RESULTS: (1) Autumn virtual landscapes with color had a superior therapeutic effect. (2) There were significant differences in the therapeutic effects of different sensory modes within the same season's landscape categories, suggesting that incorporating additional sensory dimensions may enhance therapeutic outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Based on the study's findings, we recommend that when designing therapeutic environments, attention should be given to seasonal variations and the integration of various sensory modes to optimize therapeutic results.

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