Views across indoor spaces and from one area inside to another have a powerful influence on how we think and on how we behave. Neuroscience research findings streamline the process of creating compelling, useful, design-goal-achieving sightlines.
Framework for Reaction to Place
Findings presented during several sessions at the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture’s (ANFA’s) 2023 conference can potentially be applied in practice.
Critical points, needed now
Aligning goals and situations
Song, Kowalewski, and Friedman studied human beings’ preference for musical harmony. They determined that they “examined the association between PfH [preference for harmony] and two behavioral measures of the preference for familiarity, one based on individual differences in the strength of the mere-exposure effect and the other based on preferences for musical chords that appear more versus less frequently within Western musical corpora. Our results showed modest but reliable positive correlations between PfH and both measures. . . . PfH . .
Research continues into how languages communicate information about colors seen. Malik-Moraleda, Mahowald, and Conway learned that “Languages spoken in industrialized nations such as the United States, for example, tend to have about a dozen basic color terms, while languages spoken by more isolated populations often have fewer. . . .
Research recently completed by investigators at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience indicates how “realistic” our interactions with the world around us actually are. Qin, Michon, Keysers, and Gazzola found that “if we observe actions in . . . meaningful sequences, our brains increasingly ignore what comes into our eyes, and depend more on predictions of what should happen next, derived from our own motor system. ‘What we would do next, becomes what our brain sees’, summarizes Christian Keysers. . . .
Yang, Sedikides, Wang, and Cai tie experiencing nature and feeling more authentic as a person. As the researchers detail, they “formulated several hypotheses: (a) nature fosters authenticity, and it does so through at least four plausible mechanisms: self-esteem, basic needs satisfaction (autonomy, competence, relatedness), mindfulness, and positive affect; (b) self-esteem is the strongest mechanism overall, and autonomy is the strongest mechanism of the three basic needs . . .
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) continues to receive a great deal of attention from researchers. Lohaus, Thoma, and Bellingrath report in a literature review published in Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice that found that ASMR “is associated with short-term positive effects on mental health. . . .
Researchers have learned that our life conditions influence how we write about nature and it seems likely that the same factors influence thinking more generally. Langer lead a team that determined that “female authors tend to use more species names when they write. . . . The researchers . . . explain how factors such as the author’s gender, place of residence or age influence the importance given to nature in their works. . . . [the researchers] found that, on average, works written by women contained more biodiversity than those written by men across all the periods analysed. . . .