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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Discussions of architectural beauty have largely taken place outside of empirical science. Over the past decade, however, neuroaesthetics has generated new insights into the neurobiological underpinnings of beauty and art. Now, scientists are also beginning to probe the intersection of neuroscience and architecture. The emerging field of neuroarchitecture aims to investigate the neural and psychological implications of architectural design and to inspire the construction of built environments that support psychological experiences and wellbeing. This chapter explores how neuroarchitecture might develop into an experimental science, drawing lessons from recent developments in neuroaesthetics along the way. An initial neural framework is outlined, the aesthetic triad, in order to contextualize past neuroscientific research on the built environment and to motivate future hypothesis-testing studies. Finally, the potential benefits and limitations of this area of research are discussed.

Keywords: Neuroarchitecture, aesthetic triad, Vitruvian Triad, environmental psychology, evolutionary psychology, biophilia

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