architecture, philosophy & cognitive neuroscience

By Dr. Zak Djebbara, Aalborg University, Denmark


Latest research:

Tying architecture and homeostasis using affordances: An approach to well-being in the built environment (2022)

Djebbara, Z., Jelic, A. and Fich, L. B. (2022) ‘Tying architecture and homeostasis using affordances: An approach to well-being in the built environment’, in Structures and Architecture. A Viable Urban Perspective?: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Structures and Architecture (ICSA 2022), July 6-8, 2022, Aalborg, Denmark. CRC Press, p. 353. Link to the […]

Neuroscience and Architecture: Modulating behavior through sensorimotor responses to the built environment (2022)

Djebbara, Z. et al. (2022) ‘Neuroscience and Architecture: Modulating behavior through sensorimotor responses to the built environment’, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, p. 104715. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104715. Open access, right here. Abstract As we move through the world, natural and built environments implicitly guide behavior by appealing to certain sensory and motor dynamics. This process can be […]

The Embodiment of Architectural Experience: A Methodological Perspective on Neuro-Architecture (2022)

Wang, S., Sanches de Oliveira, G., Djebbara, Z. and Gramann, K. (2022) ‘The Embodiment of Architectural Experience: A Methodological Perspective on Neuro-Architecture’, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2022.833528. Read the full paper here. People spend a large portion of their time inside built environments. Research in neuro-architecture—the neural basis of human perception of and […]

Architectural affordances: linking action, perception, and cognition (2022)

Djebbara, Z. and Gramann, K. (2022) ‘Architectural affordances: linking action, perception, and cognition’, in Brain, Beauty, and Art: Essays Bringing Neuroaesthetics into Focus. Oxford University Press. Request the full paper here, and remember to buy the treat of a book Brain, Beauty, and Art: Essays bringing neuroaesthetics into focus. Imagine not being in space – […]

The body as the link between mind and space: A philosophical and neuroscientific discourse to understand the role of architecture in cognitive and emotional processing (2021)

Vecchiato, G., Robinson, S., Djebbara, Z., Papale, P. & Presti, P. (2021) ‘8th International Conference on Spatial Cognition: Cognition and Action in a Plurality of Spaces’. Rome/Virtual Conference. Full proceedings can also be found here. Outline. Architecture influences actions and emotions being the main stage of our everyday social interactions. This symposium will guide the […]

Scene and Place Preferences: Insights from Psychology and Neuroscience (2021)

Vartanian, O., Walther, D. B., Djebbara, Z., & Gosling, S. (2021) ‘Scene and Place Preferences: Insights from Psychology and Neuroscience’, in XXVI Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics 2021. London/Virtual Conference. Full proceedings also found here. Outline. Our aesthetic responses to objects extend to natural scenes and indoor places. Interestingly, people exhibit greater […]

Spar Nord Foundation’s Research Prize 2021

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been awarded Spar Nord Foundation’s Research Prize this year, 2021, for my PhD thesis. I need to thank a lot of people for their efforts and unwavering support. My thesis, Expecting Space: an enactive and active inference approach to transitions, is a philosophical, psychological and cognitive neuroscientific approach to […]

A conversation – Corporeal Architecture (2021)

A conversation with Dr. Maria da Piedade Ferreira, founder of Corporeal Architecture and Lecturer at Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart – HFT and ACE – Center for Education of the Academy for Neuroscience for Architecture. This the second of a cycle, as joint initiative from the YouTube channel Corporeal Architecture. The conversation focused on the role […]

The brain dynamics of architectural affordances during transition (2021)

Djebbara, Z., Fich, L. B. and Gramann, K. (2021) ‘The brain dynamics of architectural affordances during transition’, Scientific Reports, 11(1), p. 2796. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-82504-w. Read the full paper here. Action is a medium of collecting sensory information about the environment, which in turn is shaped by architectural affordances. Affordances characterize the fit between the physical […]

The Architecture of the Virtual: An Encounter between Cognitive Neurosciences and Architecture (2020)

August, K., Djebbara, Z., Kousoulas, S., & Radman, A. (2020) ‘The Architecture of the Virtual: An Encounter between Cognitive Neurosciences and Architecture’, in 4th Ambiances Congress 2020, Ambiances, Alloaesthesia: Senses, Inventions, Worlds. Santa Barbara: Ambiances. Full text also found here. Outline. The philosophies of substance presuppose a subject which then encounters a datum. This subject […]

(Preprint) Anticipation in architectural experience: a computational neurophenomenology for architecture? (2020)

Djebbara, Z., Parr, T. and Friston, K. (2020) ‘Anticipation in architectural experience: a computational neurophenomenology for architecture?’ Available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/2011.03852 The perceptual experience of architecture is enacted by the sensory and motor system. When we act, we change the perceived environment according to a set of expectations that depend on our body and the built […]

(Preprint) Architectural Affordance Impacts Human Sensorimotor Brain Dynamics (2020)

Djebbara, Z., Fich, L. B. and Gramann, K. (2020) ‘Architectural Affordance Impacts Human Sensorimotor Brain Dynamics’, bioRxiv. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, p. 2020.10.18.344267. doi: 10.1101/2020.10.18.344267. Action is a medium of collecting sensory information about the environment, which in turn is shaped by architectural affordances. Affordances characterize the fit between the physical structure of the body […]

Architectural affordance systematically alter parieto-occipital alpha-band desynchronization (2020)

Djebbara, Z., Fich, L. B. and Gramann, K. (2020) ‘Architectural affordance systematically alter parieto-occipital alpha-band desynchronization’, in ANFA 2020: Sensing spaces, perceiving place. San Diego, US: ANFA. Stay tuned for the full-paper with improvements! Transitions are among the most fundamental architectural elements, as they distinguish between inside and outside (1). Over millennials, architectural transitions have […]


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