Human emotions are not something we may stop and reflect on throughout the day; however we are certainly aware of when we are in a bad mood, and how that is drastically different from being in a good one.
It is nothing new that design can influence mood.
The idea that emotions can be effected by design choices like color, light and exposure to nature has long been studied. However, the field of neuroarchitecture tries to go further to understand why and how the human brain’s response to its environment has such an effect.
According to the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, the goal of neuroscience research in this regard is to develop a deeper knowledge of why we respond the way we do to the built surroundings in our environment. Understanding the brain and human behavior in relation to the architecture and interior design around us, and how to develop this into tangible ways that could actually benefit society, is a goal of this field.
Examining how environmental settings can alter emotional processes, such as stress and memory, is one facet of neuroarchitecture.
Dr. Eve Edelstein has explored the scientific connection between the brain and its environment. In an article on the topic, Edelstein refers to research which has demonstrated that environments considered enriched by inhabitants can lead to brain cell growth.
Other studies have concluded that interaction with a stimulating environment could be connected to the regions of the brain that are responsible for memory formation.
Understanding cues from the environment and how they can be applied in beneficial ways to facilitate emotional concerns or physical requirements is a needed focus in the design world. Addressing the relationship of design and integrating necessary components have proved beneficial for areas like therapeutic, medical and healthcare facilities.
Uncovering why a room or a structure evokes certain responses and how architecture and design is capable of eliciting certain reactions in the brain is of interest to neuroscientists and architects alike. The more the field of neuroarchitecture discovers, the more society can benefit from its understanding.
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