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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2023)

Mental health is a critical issue affecting individuals and society. Even academia has not been immune to this pandemic, with growing concerns about declining mental health among students, faculty, and staff. Our research aims to investigate how the built environment can influence the body and mind and how its elements impact prolonged stress in college students. We have recently built an adaptive and flexible environment called Personal Emotional Augmented Controlled Environment (PEACE). Along with PEACE, we have developed a multi-modal bio-behavioral data acquisition platform to capture and study individuals' physiological and behavioral signals in response to multiple PEACE factors such as light, sound, and form.

Through this research, we will systematically study the connection between the body and mind and environmental factors to characterize how human stress level can be inferred from the physiological and behavioral signals and how it responds to the environmental factors. Our overarching goal is to create an integrated closed-loop control pipeline where elements of PEACE respond to individuals' stress and help to mitigate it. If the objectives of this research are achieved, we pave the path for designing intelligent built environments responding to human emotion, which introduce a sustainable and complementary remedy to boost mental health.

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