Neuroscience


Can Your City Change Your Mind?

Publication:
Date: 
November 16, 2016
The design of our spaces can heal us, hurt us, and alter the way we think.

There’s a significant chance that the room you’re in right now is controlling your mind. The room—if you’re like most North Americans, who’ve been found to spend roughly 90 percent of their time indoors, you’re probably in one—is exerting both strong and subtle influences on the way your brain functions. It may be making you anxious, or sad, or distracted, or highly efficient, or inexplicably tired, affecting not only your cognitive abilities and mental processes, but your emotional state, mental stability, and physical well-being.

People With Spinal Injuries Are Regaining Use of Their Limbs in an Amazing Way

Date: 
March 30, 2018
Inside UCLA’s Neuroplasticity and Repair Laboratory

Brian Gomez has his fingers wrapped around a small bar attached to three short springs in a rectangular metal frame. It’s similar to the handlebar brake lever of a dirt bike, like the one Gomez was riding in 2011 that malfunctioned, causing a crash that left him paralyzed below the neck. He’s trying to close his hand, but the bar doesn’t budge. Then a switch is flipped, and tiny electrodes implanted on his spinal cord begin firing. “It’s like a fluid shock going through” his body, he says. Gomez straightens in his wheelchair. His forearm twitches, and his grip tightens. The metal bar moves.

How Neuroscience Can Improve Architecture

Publication:
Date: 
September 29, 2014
Three takeaways from discussions on brains and buildings.

The human response to architecture is usually based on subjective emotions: I like that building, I hate this space; this room is so open, this office is oppressive. But something more nuanced is happening to elicit these responses. Neuroscientists have found that distinctive processes occur in our brains—consciously and subconsciously, cognitively and physiologically—from the moment we step into a space. These processes affect our emotions, our health, and even the development of memory.