In the last decades, the rapid growth of functional brain imaging methodologies allowed cognitive neuroscience to address open questions in philosophy and social sciences. At the same time, novel insights from cognitive neuroscience research have begun to influence various disciplines, leading to a turn to cognition and emotion in the fields of planning and architectural design. Since 2003, the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture has been supporting ‘neuro-architecture’ as a way to connect neuroscience and the study of behavioral responses to the built environment. Among the many topics related to multisensory perceptual integration and embodiment, the concept of hapticity was recently introduced, suggesting a pivotal role of tactile perception and haptic imagery in architectural appraisal. Arguments have thus risen in favor of the existence of shared cognitive foundations between hapticity and the supramodal functional architecture of the human brain. Precisely, supramodality refers to the functional feature of defined brain regions to process and represent specific information content in a more abstract way, independently of the sensory modality conveying such information to the brain. Here, we highlight some commonalities and differences between the concepts of hapticity and supramodality according to the distinctive perspectives of architecture and cognitive neuroscience. This comparison and connection between these two different approaches may lead to novel observations in regard to people–environment relationships, and even provide empirical foundations for a renewed evidence-based design theory. In recent years, novel methodologies to explore the neurobiological bases of mind and behavior have inspired the fields of architecture (e.g., Mallgrave, 2011), planning and urban studies (Portugali, 2004, 2011; van der Veen, 2012; de Lange, 2013), geography (Anderson and Smith, 2001), social sciences and the humanities (Leys, 2002) to open toward cognitive neuroscience and, more specifically, to brain imaging. Novel interdisciplinary fields with the ‘neuro-’ prefix have thus recently emerged, such as neuro-economy, neuro-law, neuro-marketing, and even neuro-architecture. A neuroscientific approach to the most diverse fields has proven to be able to offer experimental-based pieces of evidence to different domains, often confirming, reviewing or integrating previous theoretical notions. Yet, when promoting any dialog among disciplines, caution must be urged against certain conceptual ambiguities, as we shall see in this commentary.

When neuroscience 'touches' architecture: From hapticity to a supramodal functioning of the human brain / Papale, Paolo; Chiesi, Leonardo; Rampinini, Alessandra C.; Pietrini, Pietro; Ricciardi, Emiliano. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - ELETTRONICO. - 7:(2016), pp. 866-874. [10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00866]

When neuroscience 'touches' architecture: From hapticity to a supramodal functioning of the human brain

Chiesi, Leonardo;PIETRINI, PIETRO;
2016

Abstract

In the last decades, the rapid growth of functional brain imaging methodologies allowed cognitive neuroscience to address open questions in philosophy and social sciences. At the same time, novel insights from cognitive neuroscience research have begun to influence various disciplines, leading to a turn to cognition and emotion in the fields of planning and architectural design. Since 2003, the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture has been supporting ‘neuro-architecture’ as a way to connect neuroscience and the study of behavioral responses to the built environment. Among the many topics related to multisensory perceptual integration and embodiment, the concept of hapticity was recently introduced, suggesting a pivotal role of tactile perception and haptic imagery in architectural appraisal. Arguments have thus risen in favor of the existence of shared cognitive foundations between hapticity and the supramodal functional architecture of the human brain. Precisely, supramodality refers to the functional feature of defined brain regions to process and represent specific information content in a more abstract way, independently of the sensory modality conveying such information to the brain. Here, we highlight some commonalities and differences between the concepts of hapticity and supramodality according to the distinctive perspectives of architecture and cognitive neuroscience. This comparison and connection between these two different approaches may lead to novel observations in regard to people–environment relationships, and even provide empirical foundations for a renewed evidence-based design theory. In recent years, novel methodologies to explore the neurobiological bases of mind and behavior have inspired the fields of architecture (e.g., Mallgrave, 2011), planning and urban studies (Portugali, 2004, 2011; van der Veen, 2012; de Lange, 2013), geography (Anderson and Smith, 2001), social sciences and the humanities (Leys, 2002) to open toward cognitive neuroscience and, more specifically, to brain imaging. Novel interdisciplinary fields with the ‘neuro-’ prefix have thus recently emerged, such as neuro-economy, neuro-law, neuro-marketing, and even neuro-architecture. A neuroscientific approach to the most diverse fields has proven to be able to offer experimental-based pieces of evidence to different domains, often confirming, reviewing or integrating previous theoretical notions. Yet, when promoting any dialog among disciplines, caution must be urged against certain conceptual ambiguities, as we shall see in this commentary.
7
866
874
Papale, Paolo; Chiesi, Leonardo; Rampinini, Alessandra C.; Pietrini, Pietro; Ricciardi, Emiliano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1056909
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