A study of architectural features by means of electroencephalographic recordings in virtual reality settings
A virtual reality study evaluates the link between space, body, emotions, cognitive responses. A step forward in understanding the close link between architecture and neuroscience.
In order to measure how the shape of space can modify the emotional content of people’s experiences, and to investigate the more complex aspects of the relationship between the shape of space and the bodily and affective cerebral representations of humans, the research project NuArch is underway:
The research is being carried out in Parma at the dell’Istituto di Neuroscienze del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IN-CNR). Together with Davide Ruzzon Director of TUNED, for Lombardini22, the team of researchers involved in the project is coordinated by Giovanni Vecchiato along with Fausto Caruana and Pietro Avanzini, with the extraordinary participation of Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti.
On 24 June 2021 in Lombardini22 were presented the first results of the research with Prof. Rizzolatti: discover more
Living space profoundly impacts on our behavior and mental states.
Neuroscientific discoveries demonstrated that cerebral circuits underlying human cognition and bodily reactions are affected by the surrounding environment. This evidence set a promising direction of using neuroscience for architecture to investigate the relation between brain and built environment by using the body, with its subjective physical and neurophysiological properties, as the link between the two entities. Building upon these recent findings, the aim of the present project is to study how architecture impacts on human behavior and cerebral activity. The research is carried out by adopting an ecological setup in a virtual reality environment which is able to instantiate neurophysiological responses of the whole architectural perception in a social scenario. The explicit correlates of this experience are represented by perceptual judgments reported by subjects observing expressive bodily actions within virtual architectures. Instead, the implicit dimension of perception is investigated by means of electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings to highlight the role of body representations during the architectural experience. To this aim, architectures and virtual body expressions are designed to differently engage the subjects. The analysis of the related cerebral responses will guide to the identification of the cortical networks responsible for processing architecture in a virtual social context. The acquired knowledge will be exploited for evidence-based design to improve future architecture that will be beneficial for the overall well-being of people.