The effects of negative air ions on cognitive function: an event-related potential (ERP) study

Chien Heng Chu, Su Ru Chen, Chih Han Wu, Yung Chao Cheng, Yu Min Cho, Yu Kai Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the effects of negative air ions (NAIs) on cognitive function in young male adults, specifically examined whether NAIs could influence the behavioral and neuroelectrical indices of inhibition. Thirty-nine young adults participated in the NAI and the control sessions in a counterbalanced order. A computerized Stroop color-word test was administrated, and N2 of the event-related potential was recorded and then analyzed. The results revealed that participants in the NAI session demonstrated shorter reaction times and higher accuracy for both Stroop congruent and incongruent trials. Larger N2 amplitudes were also observed in the NAI session than in the control session, whereas no alterations in the latencies were found. These findings suggest that NAIs resulted in a general improvement in both basic information processing and inhibition. This facilitation may be related to an enhanced neuronal processing or alertness status reflected by larger amplitudes of the N2 component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1317
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • Event-related potential
  • Inhibition
  • N2
  • Negative air ion
  • Stroop color-word test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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