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Exploring the physiological, neurophysiological and cognitive performance effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations indoors

Exploring the physiological, neurophysiological and cognitive performance effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations indoors
Exploring the physiological, neurophysiological and cognitive performance effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations indoors
RationaleAn accumulation of CO2 in occupied indoor spaces is correlated to negative impacts on concentration, sleepiness and aspects of cognitive performance. However, factors such as: (a) the relative effect of CO2 itself compared to other pollutants; (b) the minimum necessary exposure time for cognitive performance to be affected; and (c) the physiological drivers of cognitive performance reductions due to increased indoor CO2 concentrations are not yet clear. MethodA within-subjects counterbalanced study design was used to test cognitive performance, subjective and physiological parameters of 31 volunteers during short (< 60 min) exposures to normal CO2 (830 ppm) and high CO2 (2700 ppm, raised by introducing pure CO2 alongside the occupant generated CO2). The study was conducted in a small naturally ventilated office and EEG was used as an objective indicator of sleepiness. ResultsThe addition of pure CO2 to the room resulted in the absence of an expected learning effect in two cognitive performance test battery components which could not be explained by any of the physiological, psychological, or reported comfort, sick building syndrome and health variables measured. However, participants who had slept less the previous night appeared more susceptible to becoming sleepier as a result of the increased CO2. Contributions The results suggest (1) the addition of pure CO2 may influence aspects of cognitive performance after only short exposures (2) these changes occur in the absence of clear physiological drivers, (3) lack of sleep may mediate people's response to higher CO2 concentration.
0360-1323
243-252
Snow, Stephen
1ba928e0-a4d7-4392-ae59-31ac8467eb94
Boyson, Amy S.
8c54a4bc-0e51-4905-abce-e89b75ea3ffe
Paas, Karlien H.w.
1b27f435-780c-47a5-b877-dfdf907a7376
Gough, Hannah
a3023a73-5d87-4bda-aba4-4e9a07a5b7db
King, Marco-felipe
a9181684-ef51-495d-a4ba-3c9f9732ec97
Barlow, Janet
67e37dc0-37ca-4aee-b8ac-f0398ec745fe
Noakes, Catherine J.
c7883be6-d4d9-4aa7-98b5-40dba5fa71be
Schraefel, M.c.
43fce5da-9a4d-4c15-8280-e27cf2d6ff4d
Snow, Stephen
1ba928e0-a4d7-4392-ae59-31ac8467eb94
Boyson, Amy S.
8c54a4bc-0e51-4905-abce-e89b75ea3ffe
Paas, Karlien H.w.
1b27f435-780c-47a5-b877-dfdf907a7376
Gough, Hannah
a3023a73-5d87-4bda-aba4-4e9a07a5b7db
King, Marco-felipe
a9181684-ef51-495d-a4ba-3c9f9732ec97
Barlow, Janet
67e37dc0-37ca-4aee-b8ac-f0398ec745fe
Noakes, Catherine J.
c7883be6-d4d9-4aa7-98b5-40dba5fa71be
Schraefel, M.c.
43fce5da-9a4d-4c15-8280-e27cf2d6ff4d

Snow, Stephen, Boyson, Amy S., Paas, Karlien H.w., Gough, Hannah, King, Marco-felipe, Barlow, Janet, Noakes, Catherine J. and Schraefel, M.c. (2019) Exploring the physiological, neurophysiological and cognitive performance effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations indoors. Building and Environment, 156, 243-252. (doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.04.010).

Record type: Article

Abstract

RationaleAn accumulation of CO2 in occupied indoor spaces is correlated to negative impacts on concentration, sleepiness and aspects of cognitive performance. However, factors such as: (a) the relative effect of CO2 itself compared to other pollutants; (b) the minimum necessary exposure time for cognitive performance to be affected; and (c) the physiological drivers of cognitive performance reductions due to increased indoor CO2 concentrations are not yet clear. MethodA within-subjects counterbalanced study design was used to test cognitive performance, subjective and physiological parameters of 31 volunteers during short (< 60 min) exposures to normal CO2 (830 ppm) and high CO2 (2700 ppm, raised by introducing pure CO2 alongside the occupant generated CO2). The study was conducted in a small naturally ventilated office and EEG was used as an objective indicator of sleepiness. ResultsThe addition of pure CO2 to the room resulted in the absence of an expected learning effect in two cognitive performance test battery components which could not be explained by any of the physiological, psychological, or reported comfort, sick building syndrome and health variables measured. However, participants who had slept less the previous night appeared more susceptible to becoming sleepier as a result of the increased CO2. Contributions The results suggest (1) the addition of pure CO2 may influence aspects of cognitive performance after only short exposures (2) these changes occur in the absence of clear physiological drivers, (3) lack of sleep may mediate people's response to higher CO2 concentration.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 April 2019
Published date: June 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430405
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430405
ISSN: 0360-1323
PURE UUID: 0fc7cd5e-4c01-4417-b564-d81092aad9c8

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Date deposited: 30 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 03 Jun 2019 16:30

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