The emotional influence of different geometries in virtual spaces: A neurocognitive examination

Avishag Shemesh, Gerry Leisman, Moshe Bar, Yasha Jacob Grobman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this paper, a multidisciplinary approach to examining the connection between visual perception, human emotions and architectural space is presented. It details a study in which emotional reactions to architectural space geometry are empirically measured and quantified. Using various sensors, including EEG (Electroencephalography), GSR (Galvanic Skin Response), and eye-tracking (ET), we collected data from 112 individuals experiencing virtual environments (VEs), characterized by a variance of geometric manipulations. Diffusion map algorithms, as well as other statistical methods were used to analyze the data. Findings suggest that criteria of protrusion, curvature, scale and proportion of space influence the user's emotional state. Indices of ET, GSR, electrical brain activity, as well as dwelling duration and self-report liking ranks, show both “negative” and “positive” interest changes. Impact statement: This research examined the connection between the properties of space and human emotions by means of empiric measurements of emotional affect, generated by changes in the geometry of space, related to the criteria of protrusion, curvature, scale and proportion. Results demonstrated that changing the geometric properties of architectural space is significantly associated with a significant effect on human emotions. This indicates that emotional responses generated by architectural spaces can be empirically measured and quantified. Implications for residential, education, and rehabilitation settings are evidenced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101802
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Affective response
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Emotions
  • Evidence-based design
  • Neuroaesthetics
  • Neuroarchitecture
  • Parametric design
  • Space geometry
  • Space perception
  • Virtual environment


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