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Front Psychol ; 7: 481, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27065937


Over the last few years, the efforts to reveal through neuroscientific lens the relations between the mind, body, and built environment have set a promising direction of using neuroscience for architecture. However, little has been achieved thus far in developing a systematic account that could be employed for interpreting current results and providing a consistent framework for subsequent scientific experimentation. In this context, the enactive perspective is proposed as a guide to studying architectural experience for two key reasons. Firstly, the enactive approach is specifically selected for its capacity to account for the profound connectedness of the organism and the world in an active and dynamic relationship, which is primarily shaped by the features of the body. Thus, particular emphasis is placed on the issues of embodiment and motivational factors as underlying constituents of the body-architecture interactions. Moreover, enactive understanding of the relational coupling between body schema and affordances of architectural spaces singles out the two-way bodily communication between architecture and its inhabitants, which can be also explored in immersive virtual reality settings. Secondly, enactivism has a strong foothold in phenomenological thinking that corresponds to the existing phenomenological discourse in architectural theory and qualitative design approaches. In this way, the enactive approach acknowledges the available common ground between neuroscience and architecture and thus allows a more accurate definition of investigative goals. Accordingly, the outlined model of architectural subject in enactive terms-that is, a model of a human being as embodied, enactive, and situated agent, is proposed as a basis of neuroscientific and phenomenological interpretation of architectural experience.

Cogn Process ; 16 Suppl 1: 425-9, 2015 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26224275


The recent efforts aimed at providing neuroscientific explanations of how people perceive and experience architectural environments have largely justified the initial belief in the value of neuroscience for architecture. However, a systematic development of a coherent theoretical and experimental framework is missing. To investigate the neurophysiological reactions related to the appreciation of ambiances, we recorded the electroencephalographic (EEG) signals in an immersive virtual reality during the appreciation of interior designs. Such data have been analyzed according to the working hypothesis that appreciated environments involve embodied simulation mechanisms and circuits mediating approaching stimuli. EEG recordings of 12 healthy subjects have been performed during the perception of three-dimensional interiors that have been simulated in a CAVE system and judged according to dimensions of familiarity, novelty, comfort, pleasantness, arousal and presence. A correlation analysis on personal judgments returned that scores of novelty, pleasantness and comfort are positively correlated, while familiarity and novelty are in negative way. Statistical spectral maps reveal that pleasant, novel and comfortable interiors produce a de-synchronization of the mu rhythm over left sensorimotor areas. Interiors judged more pleasant and less familiar generate an activation of left frontal areas (theta and alpha bands), along an involvement of areas devoted to spatial navigation. An increase in comfort returns an enhancement of the theta frontal midline activity. Cerebral activations underlying appreciation of architecture could involve different mechanisms regulating corporeal, emotional and cognitive reactions. Therefore, it might be suggested that people's experience of architectural environments is intrinsically structured by the possibilities for action.

Atenção/fisiologia , Mapeamento Encefálico , Emoções , Meio Ambiente , Motivação/fisiologia , Percepção/fisiologia , Adulto , Eletroencefalografia , Potenciais Evocados , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Análise Espectral , Estatística como Assunto , Interface Usuário-Computador
Front Psychol ; 6: 1944, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26733924


Nowadays there is the hope that neuroscientific findings will contribute to the improvement of building design in order to create environments which satisfy man's demands. This can be achieved through the understanding of neurophysiological correlates of architectural perception. To this aim, the electroencephalographic (EEG) signals of 12 healthy subjects were recorded during the perception of three immersive virtual reality environments (VEs). Afterwards, participants were asked to describe their experience in terms of Familiarity, Novelty, Comfort, Pleasantness, Arousal, and Presence using a rating scale from 1 to 9. These perceptual dimensions are hypothesized to influence the pattern of cerebral spectral activity, while Presence is used to assess the realism of the virtual stimulation. Hence, the collected scores were used to analyze the Power Spectral Density (PSD) of the EEG for each behavioral dimension in the theta, alpha and mu bands by means of time-frequency analysis and topographic statistical maps. Analysis of Presence resulted in the activation of the frontal-midline theta, indicating the involvement of sensorimotor integration mechanisms when subjects expressed to feel more present in the VEs. Similar patterns also characterized the experience of familiar and comfortable VEs. In addition, pleasant VEs increased the theta power across visuomotor circuits and activated the alpha band in areas devoted to visuospatial exploration and processing of categorical spatial relations. Finally, the de-synchronization of the mu rhythm described the perception of pleasant and comfortable VEs, showing the involvement of left motor areas and embodied mechanisms for environment appreciation. Overall, these results show the possibility to measure EEG correlates of architectural perception involving the cerebral circuits of sensorimotor integration, spatial navigation, and embodiment. These observations can help testing architectural hypotheses in order to design environments matching the changing needs of humans.