Beneficial effects of nature have been widely documented and the restorative potential of natural versus urban environments is well established. Yet even after several decades of research, just how this process evolves is still something of a mystery. In recent years, we have seen a steady growth in the amount of research being performed in this domain, but we are also witnessing an increasingly broad perspective on the topic, incorporating more diversity in the restorative stimuli used, a larger range of antecedent conditions being considered, and a more broad scope on the potential processes and outcomes of restoration. In this double-barreled symposium, we will bring together many of those new perspectives on and methodologies employed in restoration research.Part I: New insights in restorative mechanisms and effects In the first part of our symposium, the focus is on methodologies casting new light on the underlying mechanisms of the restorative process. We start with an overview and critical analysis of cognitive measures employed in earlier studies, and then present work employing innovative methods to investigate restorative mechanisms and effects, including EEG recording, eye tracking, cortisol measurements, ego-depletion paradigms, and experiences of pain. Methodological innovations also pertain to the stimuli considered in restoration research, including for instance fractals, light, and virtual reality. Part II: New insights in restorative preferences and strategies In the second part of this symposium, the focus is more on the individual as an active player in restorative processes. We present a range of methods to explore the nature of individuals’ preferences and restorative strategies. Such methods include the use of more quantitative techniques such as conjoint methodology correlating self-reported stress with behavioural options and environmental attributes, comparisons of self-reported perceived restorativeness of experiences in digitally manipulated environments, and cluster analysis of recreational goals and activities during nature visits, but also qualitative methods employing participatory design techniques and depth interviews. We will close the session with a panel discussion reflecting on the pros and cons of this diversity in methodology and perspective: are we enhancing the field, complementing each other’s findings and deepening our understanding, or are we drifting apart?Part I: New insights in restorative mechanisms and effects Chair: Femke BeuteHelena Jahncke & Terry Hartig. Attentional recovery: an overview of cognitive measures. Hagerhall, C., Laike, T., Taylor, R., Küller, M., Marcheschi, E. & Boydston, C. Human EEG responses to exact and statistical fractal patterns. Yvonne de Kort & Femke Beute. Does need for restoration direct us to nature? Testing viewing patterns after emotional and cognitive stress induction. Jenny Roe, Catherine Ward Thompson, Peter Aspinall, Mark Brewer, Betty Duff, Richard Mitchell, Angela Clow & David Miller. Green space and wellbeing: relationships between gender, patterns of salivary cortisol, self-reported stress and levels of green space in deprived urban communities in Scotland. Femke Beute & Yvonne de Kort. No artificial ingredients added: Naturalness and the replenishment of ego-depletion by bright and sunny nature. Karin Tanja-Dijkstra, Sabine Pahl, Matthew White, Jackie Andrade, Jon May, Robert Stone, Malcolm Bruce &David Moles. Virtual reality, restoration and aversive experiences: distraction, relaxation and perceived control.Part II: New insights in restorative preferences and strategies Chair: Yvonne de KortHelena Nordh & Caroline Hagerhall. Links between enclosure and potential for restoration.Jenny Roe, Affonso Zuin, Peter Aspinall & Catherine Ward Thompson. A conjoint methodology for exploring place and activity preferences for stress regulation and relationships with green space.Degenhardt, B., Kienast, F., Irngartinger, C. & Buchecker, M. Nearby outdoor recreation in Swiss peri-urban areas: Restorative needs and behaviours of different user groups.Payne, S., Cain, R., Marshall, P., Smith, J. & Squire, R. Creating a restorative staff room in an emergency department.Dörte Martens. Community gardening serves restoration and empowerment processes.Panel discussion: are we enhancing the field, complementing each other’s findings and deepening our understanding, or are we drifting apart?