fMRI Study of Architecturally-Induced Contemplative States

Sep 18, 2014

This interdisciplinary investigation tests whether the perception of environments designed for contemplation elicit brain activations similar to those found under contemplative states. Within the context of contemporary neuroscience and clinical research in meditation, this pilot study uses fMRI scans to gauge and compare the neurophenomenological response that contemplative and ordinary buildings elicit from 12 subjects. The results indicates not only that there are clearly different reactions to the two types of built environments but also that the phenomenological and neural correlates of the architecturally-induced contemplation share many similarities with internally-generated meditation while displaying important differences that have more in common with peak/low/aesthetic psychosomatic states than with meditative conditions.

Julio Bermudez, Ph.D. (The Catholic University of America)
David Krizaj, Ph.D. (University of Utah)
David Lipschitz, Ph.D. (University of Utah)
Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Ph.D. (University of Utah)
Yoshino Nakamura, Ph.D. (University of Utah)
Presented at: 
2014 ANFA Conference (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture

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