Studying in a scientific and quantifiable way how spaces influence people and how they can be designed to help its users is the aim of the Research Group Neuroarquitectura LENI (European Laboratory for Immersive neurotechnologies).
This question has been generally dealt sporadically and intuitively by architects. As a field of study, it has been addressed in recent decades from the perspective of psychologists. Cross disciplines such as Evidence-Based Design, User-Centered Design or ergonomics have also approached scientific research design.
In recent years, advances in the field of neuroscience and psychophysiological measurement are offering new tools for the study of user´s cognitive and emotional response in very different circumstances. Thus, neuroscience is now being implemented in marketing, economics, politics or education.
On the other hand, new display technologies are beginning to allow simulation of complex environments realistically, interactively and with great sense of presence, as well as allowing controlling and altering design variables and recording user actions.
The combined application of neurotechnologies and immersive visualization systems opens new tools for environment-behavior studies. Neuroarchitecture, therefore, is an emerging area that presents enormous possibilities, where the bases are to set and actual results, yet to come.
Research Group Neuroarquitectura LENI conducts controlled laboratory experiments combining classical techniques of environmental psychology, such as using focus groups and questionnaires, with specific methodologies such as Kansei Engineering and advanced technologies such as Virtual Reality for presentation of stimuli experiments, measurement systems psychophysiological and behavioral (Eye-tracking, ECG, EEG, GSR …) and data analysis using statistical techniques and machine learning.