A psychophysiological effect of indoor thermal condition on college students’ learning performance through EEG measurement

Hakpyeong Kim, Taehoon Hong, Jimin Kim, Seungkeun Yeom

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This study analyzed the psychophysiological effect of the indoor thermal condition on the college students' learning performance. Towards this end, an experiment was conducted on 20 subjects in a climate chamber. Five thermal conditions (PMV -2, −1, 0, 1, and 2) were created using the climate chamber. The indoor environment quality was monitored. At the same time, to analyze learning performance, the subjects were made to perform four cognitive tests to evaluate attention, perceptual, working memory, and executive ability. Furthermore, the subjects' psychophysiological responses, such as their mental workload, mental stress, alertness, and mental fatigue, were measured using an electroencephalogram. Meanwhile, in this study, the statistical significance of the various factors was investigated using one-way repeated-measures ANOVA. It was found through the analysis that there is a significant negative relationship between alertness and working memory ability in the warm condition, whereas there are significant negative relationships between executive ability on one hand and mental workload, alertness, and mental fatigue on the other in the cool condition. Highest learning performance was at a 25.7 °C indoor temperature. When the indoor temperature decreased to 17 °C, the students' learning performance decreased by about 9.9%, and when the indoor temperature increased to 33 °C, the it decreased by about 7.0%. Therefore, this study confirmed that the indoor thermal condition does not directly influence the students’ learning performance, but it activates the psychophysiological responses of the students, thus increasing their task load.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107223
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT; Ministry of Science and ICT) ( NRF-2018R1A5A1025137 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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