Framework for Reaction to Place

Color in the Brain (02-08-21)

Rosenthal and colleagues studied how color is experienced in the brain.  They report that they used “multivariate analyses of measurements of brain activity obtained with magnetoencephalography to reverse-engineer a geometry of the neural representation of color space. . . . We evaluate the approach by relating the results to universal patterns in color naming. . . . prominent patterns of color naming could be accounted for by the decoding results: the greater precision in naming warm colors compared to cool colors.”

Awe-Related Knowledge Builds (02-04-21)

Stancato and Keltner continue to research the implications of feeling awed.  People can be awed by craftsmanship, material use, or other aspects of design. Stancato and Keltner report that “Guided by prior work documenting that awe promotes humility, increases perceptions of uncertainty, and diminishes personal concerns. . . we tested the hypothesis that awe results in reduced conviction about one’s ideological attitudes. . . .

Recap: Looking at Wood (01-29-21)

Lipovac and Burnard review published research related to looking at wood (physical or virtual indoor interactions with real or imitation wood) and reach the conclusion that “Studies with longer exposure times to wood generally observed improved affective states [moods] and decreased physiological arousal in wooden settings. . . . Current evidence suggests that visual wood exposure may improve certain indicators of human stress. . . . Current research suggests that visual wood exposure could lead to beneficial outcomes, but the evidence is limited.  .  .

Child Sensory Experiences (01-22-21)

Ross and team’s research confirms that responses to sensory experiences by children do not always directly align with those of adults, a finding that supports user age group-specific research.  The investigators report that “When adults are presented with basic multimodal sensory stimuli, the Colavita effect suggests that they have a visual dominance, whereas more recent research finds that an auditory sensory dominance may be present in children under 8 years of age. . . .

Clutter and Wellbeing (01-21-21)

Research completed by Rogers and Hart confirms that experiencing visual clutter is undesirable.  The duo found that when people feel that their homes are cluttered, their wellbeing is degraded,  “although the correlation between objective and subjective clutter was strong, 47.3% of those who scored in the healthy range of clutter on the objective clutter scale, reported that clutter has negatively impacted their quality of life. . . . This suggests that even when people manage clutter reasonably well, it can impact their quality of life. . . .

Gender and In-Space Experiences (01-20-21)

Researchers have identified fundamental differences in how men and women experience space.  Wood and Jones report in a study published in Nature Human Behaviour that the increasingly gendered division of labor in human societies during the past 2.5 million years dramatically shaped how our species uses space, and possibly how we think about it.  Underlying these conclusions is a huge and detailed trove of travel data revealing stark differences in the ways men and women among the nomadic Hadza people of Tanzania use space.

Acoustic Coordination (01-11-21)

Hou and colleagues studied brain synchronization between musicians and people listening to their music; potential applications of their findings in other contexts are intriguing.  The researchers report that they “used dual near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to assess whether inter-brain synchronization between violinist and audience underlies the popularity of violin performance. In the experiment, individual audience members . . . watched pre-recorded videos, each lasting 100 s or so, in which a violinist performed 12 musical pieces.

Greenery, Indoors and Outside, Implications (01-08-21)

Dzhambov and colleagues studied the effects of indoor and outdoor greenery on the wellbeing of people during the COVID pandemic.  They determined via a survey that “Greenery experienced both indoors and outdoors supported mental health. . . . We employed two self-reported measures of greenery experienced indoors (number of houseplants in the home and proportion of exterior greenery visible from inside the home) and two measures of greenery experienced outdoors (presence/absence of a domestic garden and availability of neighborhood greenery). . . .

As You’d Expect . . . (01-05-21)

Neuroscientists affiliated with Technische Universitat Dresden found that we “hear” what we expect to hear.  A press release from TU Dresden reports that “neuroscience research has revealed that the cerebral cortex constantly generates predictions on what will happen next, and that neurons in charge of sensory processing only encode the difference between our predictions and the actual reality.. . . new findings . . . show that not only the cerebral cortex, but the entire auditory pathway, represents sounds according to prior expectations.. . .  Dr.


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