Objective Exploration of the Effects of Architectural Components on Users’ Spatial Evaluation: A Neuroimaging Approach





Objective spatial evaluation, architectural components, functional magnetic resonance imaging, users’ brain


A review of the studies that have been conducted in the field of architectural evaluation reveals that there is insufficient evidence on objective understanding of how architectural components psychologically affect users. This study draws on advances in neuroscience and aims to objectively examine the neurological process of spatial evaluation to create a pleasant environment for users. Research has used quantitative and experimental methods such as surveys and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). To observe the brain’s neural responses and to understand how it works when users evaluate architectural spaces, 36 participants’ brains were scanned with an MRI scanner. In addition, 250 volunteers were asked to participate in a survey experiment to determine the contribution of each sensational and perceptional component to the users’ spatial evaluation. The results showed that the spatial experience of architecture is involved in the brain’s regional, emotional, perceptual, beauty judgment, and evaluation system. Also, the results revealed that pleasant spaces contribute much better to architectural design than unpleasant spaces due to higher attention and memory effects. Furthermore, the results showed that the texture and geometry have a greater ability to produce a pleasant and unpleasant sensation and perception. The high number of patients referred to the radiology polyclinic during the week posed serious problems for the researcher in renting an fMRI scanner and performing the imaging. It is expected that incorporating neuroscience findings into an architectural experience in the form of data can create new perspectives and solutions for qualified architectural design that addresses users’ psychological responses and considers their environmental behavior and satisfaction.


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Author Biography

Navid Khaleghimoghaddam, Konya Food and Agriculture University

Navid Khaleghimoghaddam works as an assistant professor at the Department of Interior Architecture at Konya Food and Agriculture University. In general, he works on key topics in architecture and neuroscience with psychological and physiological approaches, such as the study of the brain’s perceptual mechanism and emotional behavior, spaces of worship and healing, neuroarchitecture, cognitive psychology, and environmental psychology.


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How to Cite

Khaleghimoghaddam, N. (2022). Objective Exploration of the Effects of Architectural Components on Users’ Spatial Evaluation: A Neuroimaging Approach . ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 10(2), 428–443. https://doi.org/10.15320/ICONARP.2022.209