The Neuroscience of Extraordinary Places: Examining Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China

Sep 20, 2012

A neuroscientist in collaboration with a professional architectural photographer will explore how the rigor and scale of the scientific method and research may provide insights about the human response to extraordinary built environments. Can science really explain the relationship between form and delight? Can neuroscience add grit and grain to our understanding of the human experience of place?

Integrating diverse disciplinary perspectives, photographic imagery of two architectural ‘Wonders of the World,’ Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, will be used to consider how brain processes may influence our reaction to such extraordinary design. The photographer’s perspective will reveal the value of capturing light, depth, and form to convey the exquisite interaction between people, architecture and nature, and the process of recreating this experience of space in 2D photographs in order to capture built form as it evokes and inspires awe. Neuroscientific studies that reveal visual attention to built form, architectural features, proportions, and perspectives will be described.

Eve A. Edelstein (Calit2, University of California San Diego; Innovative Design Science; NewSchool o
Mike Torrey (Mike Torrey Photography)
Presented at: 
2012 ANFA Conference (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture

Community Reviews

No votes yet
Research Format: 
Research Use: