Retailers have long used techniques like incorporating scent, product placement and special sales to lure in shoppers and curtail their in store experience. Architects and designers also work these practices in when considering lifestyle, layout and color, among other considerations.
Neuroscience design is an exciting field that utilizes research and scientific processes and applies them to the area of design.
Color perception and processing are facets that receive a lot of attention in both neuroscience and design.
One recent study looking into color processing sought to find out our brain’s capacity for seeing color. The research investigated whether or not upon seeing an everyday black and white image, for instance, bananas, would our minds be able to immediately envision it in its colored form?
Study participants were shown black and white items and their brain activity was recorded. True colored objects were also presented and the responses to these were documented as well..
The findings demonstrated that seeing the black and white images sparked brain reactions that actually encoded the colors, thus the brain’s response could determine the specific correct colors, even though the color may have been absent in the initial presented image.
Further, investigators found that the items’ colors were programmed only in the primary visual cortex region of the brain, which is one of the starting points that become active when the brain receives a visual signal. This demonstrates that higher level functioning due to prior knowledge, like color recognition, exists in the beginning stages of visual processing.
Understanding how our brains actually see and translate color can be helpful when trying to configure color schemes or adding in visual layers in a space. Combining science with design theory adds heightened perspectives and can bring out elements that may often be overlooked.
The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture has recommended readings and links to neuroscience and scientific design interests.
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