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Abstract

Recent findings in cognitive neuroscience enable improved understanding of embodiment and egocentric space in architecture. From a historical perspective the human body has been inferred as a reference in the debate of architectonic proportion. It was suggested that architectonic form moulds the subjective experience of the environment in contingency with skilful articulation of geometrical proportions in a three-dimensional construct. Modern science recalls several notions of how perception, thought and action are embodied. Embodiment and the sense of body ownership as such have been linked to multisensory and own-body processing, allowing for a relationship between aspects of the self to the conception of architectonic space and theory. Investigations about multisensory integration of architectonic space and its relation to own-body processing may therefore provide scientific insight to metaphorical and functional associations with the human bodily experience of architectonic space and its digital representation including perspective and immersive virtual reality. Attempts to sketch an interaction between architecture and cognitive neuroscience may bring about a design discipline based on multisensory own-body processing with permeable borders to contemporary science and technologies. This PhD thesis introduces digital space and cognitive neuroscience to the investigation of embodiment in architecture using techniques from immersive virtual reality and cognitive psychology. Here, three experimental studies using immersive virtual reality were based on the phenomenology of own-body perception introducing parameters from architecture. With such setups we tested whether bodily self-consciousness may be associated to architecture through a visuo-tactile conflict, and, whether changes in the architectonic space modulate bodily self-consciousness. Our results relate bodily self-consciousness with architecture specific perceptions, as well as bodily stability. Also, we observed perceptual changes related to visual perspective. We discuss such findings with regard to bodily feelings and perceived geometry through a critical confrontation with notions of embodiment in architecture.

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