Brain Space: One-to-One #37 with Michael Arbib, former vice president of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture
For nearly 30 years, Michael Arbib taught computer science, neuroscience, engineering, psychology, and mathematics at the University of Southern California, and is known for his prolific work on brains and computers: essentially, what the mechanisms of one can teach us about how the other works... View full entry
Questioning urban truisms with artificial intelligence
computer vision and artificial intelligence are the keys to a debate behind a door that’s been locked for a long time: the social impact of design in cities. [...]
"Now that we have new tools to measure aesthetics, we can estimate its consequences" [...]
[MIT Media Lab associate professor Cesar Hidalgo] wants to develop more empirical ways to study cities and the way they’re perceived—and, in turn, provide better science to the policy-makers who shape legislation.
More on neural networks and aesthetic quantification:Mark Zuckerberg's resolution for 2016: build an at-home AI "like Jarvis in Iron Man"Further strides made in Nobel-winning research on the neuroscience of navigationArchinect's Lexicon: "Neuromorphic Architecture""Sculpting the Architectural... View full entry
Editor's Picks #443
Last month, as part of Archinect's special February theme, Furniture, Nicholas Korody profiled the work of Brazilian designer Guto Requena, who is interested in "digital interactive technologies" and the concept of "affective sustainability". Later he chatted with Zoe Fisher, founder and... View full entry
The Conscious Cities Conference is fast approaching! Register now
The inaugural Conscious Cities Conference is a little over one week away. Happening at Arup's London office on March 1, the one-day conference is the UK's first event of its kind and is part of the year-long Health, Wellbeing and Architecture programming from the Museum of... View full entry
Register for the Conscious Cities Conference, featuring keynote Carlo Ratti of MIT's SENSEable City Lab
The Conscious Cities Conference will delve into the evolving relationship between human behavior and the built environment, and the economic impact it creates. Taking place at Arup's London office on March 1, the one-day conference is the UK's first event of its kind and is part of the year-long... View full entry
A neuroscientist's approach to urban design
In past experiments, [neuroscientist Colin Ellard] monitored sweat glands with special wristbands to measure stress levels. In Toronto, he has added special headbands that measure brain waves. [...]
“I think this kind of research, by showing how people respond to the places that are here, can highlight some of the key principles that can be useful in designing better public places.”
More on the intersection of brain sciences and cities:AfterShock #4: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neuroscientific Architecture ResearchAfterShock #3: Brains and the CityFurther strides made in Nobel-winning research on the neuroscience of navigationThe Brain on ArchitectureDeveloping an... View full entry
We're suckers for any architecture that looks like us
It is believed that all mammals, including humans, have a ‘figural primitive’ in the brain, a pattern with two dots representing eyes, a vertical line representing a nose and a horizontal one for the mouth, at the ready to perceive upright face-like input instantaneously. [...]
So when we look at buildings that suggest a face, we feel a kinship, maybe a little love, maybe in reunion with an extended family member.
As advancements in neural imaging technology allow for more accessible and legible understandings of our brain, architectural theory has begun borrowing more and more from neuroscience. The two disciplines' explicit collaboration is part of the agenda of the Academy of Neuroscience for... View full entry
Further strides made in Nobel-winning research on the neuroscience of navigation
Place cells, which fire when the brain recognizes a corresponding geographical landmark (like your house, or the Space Needle) [offer] a two-dimensional map of familiar environments [...]
Grid cells ... are not tied to particular places — but are adjusted as needed to mark off the space around us [...]
Now, researchers from University College London have shown how grid cells help us combine mental maps, joining rooms into a house, blocks into a neighborhood and neighborhoods into a city.
Some background on the Nobel Prize-winning medical research can be found here: Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Three Who Discovered Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ View full entry
Archinect's Lexicon: "Neuromorphic Architecture"
neuromorphic [nʊər oʊ môrf ik] architecture: in the words of Dr. Michael Arbib at the 2014 Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture conference: “what happens if architecture incorporates in itself some of the lessons of the brain. If, in a sense, you give a brain to a building.”Arbib... View full entry
"Sculpting the Architectural Mind" conference examines neuroscience's effects on architecture education
Last August, on the Apollonian campus of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, neuroscientists and architects came together to flush the architecture profession with a bit more cerebral rigor. Under the guidance of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), that... View full entry
The Brain on Architecture
The provisional conclusions of the study are that the brain behaves differently when exposed to contemplative and non-contemplative buildings, contemplative states elicited through “architectural aesthetics” are similar to the contemplation of traditional meditation in some ways, and different in other ways, and, finally, that “architectural design matters.”
Related: AfterShock #4: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neuroscientific Architecture Research View full entry
Editor's Picks #390
Amelia profiles the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture aka ANFA and ponders the lessons from her time spent down in San Diego for ANFA’s annual three-day conference at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Does neuro-architecture truly hold the promise of translational... View full entry
What makes a building sacred?
The new science of neuroaesthetics [...] tells us much about the way pure form is dealt with by the brain. [...] V S Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, and William Hirstein, a philosopher at Elmhurst College in Illinois, argue that we are innately attuned to recognise things as unified objects – such that we find brushstrokes or architectural features that can be mentally assembled into a coherent whole more beautiful.
Related Archinect Feature: AfterShock #4: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neuroscientific Architecture Research View full entry
Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Three Who Discovered Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’
The three scientists’ discoveries “have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries — how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?” said the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which chooses the laureates.
The positioning system they discovered helps us know where we are, find our way from place to place and store the information for the next time
Back in 1971, John O'Keefe identified "place cells" in the brain – neurons that were selectively activated in relation to the subject's place in an environment. He concluded these nerves were composing a mental map of the space, and the collection of multiple place cells constituted a spatial... View full entry
Archinect is at the Salk Institute, covering the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture Conference
Look for coverage of the confernce here on Archinect next week. For now, follow Archinect on Twitter, or via #anfarch#anfarch TweetsThe ANFA Conference will explore, from a scientific basis, the range of human experiences with elements of architecture, through collaboration between architects and... View full entry