Neuroscience and architecture: What does the brain tell to an emotional experience of architecture via a functional MR study?

Khaleghimoghaddam N., ALKAN BALA H., ÖZMEN G., ÖZTÜRK Ş.

FRONTIERS OF ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH, vol.11, no.5, pp.877-890, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.foar.2022.02.007
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Index Islamicus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.877-890
  • Keywords: Emotional experience, Architectural stimulus, Pleasant and unpleasant place, fMRI, AMYGDALA, FMRI, NEUROANATOMY, METAANALYSIS, EXPERTISE, JUDGMENTS, FACES
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: No


Environment psychologically affects individuals. According to the base of cognitive psychology, there is a direct relationship between human behavior, environment, and emotional process. Assuming that pleasantness and unpleasantness are associated with periph-eral nervous system activation, the current study aims to explore if the pleasant or unpleasant architectural places can stimulate the brain regions engaged in emotions or not. As the main contribution, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measuring blood oxygen-ation level-dependent (BOLD) changes to effectively detect the brain's region that mainly re-sponds to the emotional-perceptual processes. Based on the results of examining the emotional assessment model of "Pleasure-Arousal" applied to 140 students, 30 most-rated im-ages representing 15 pleasant and 15 unpleasant places were shown to 32 participants in a 1.5-T MRI scanner. After applying standard preprocessing steps (re-alignment, slice-timing, co-registration, segmentation, normalization, and smoothing) to functional MR images, first -level analysis was applied to each subject. The results were evaluated using statistical correc-tions at different levels for female and male participants with the second-level analysis. In conclusion, it has been shown that there is a significant linkage between environmental expe-rience and brain activation so that the architectural qualities can change blood flow in specific brain regions. 2022 Higher Education Press Limited Company. Publishing services by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co. Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (