|Where Are Landscape Designers' Spatial Abilities in the Brain? An fMRI Study
|Hung, Shih Han
Huang, Chia Yi
Tang, Shih An
Tsai, Yu Ping
|architectural design | brain activation | drawing(s) | graphic design | left frontal lobe
|Journal of People, Plants, and Environment
Background and objective: To effectively understand and communicate their work, landscape designers should possess excellent spatial abilities. Neurological methods have confirmed that activation of the occipital lobe, parietal cortex, and prefrontal cortex affect the judgment of space; however, few studies have measured spatial abilities in landscape design. This study aimed to identify the potential role of various brain regions during spatial interpretation processes by landscape designers, particularly the effect of stimulating the frontal lobe on enhancing design capabilities. Methods: This study tested the spatial abilities of landscape designers when transforming a planar drawing into a sectional drawing and the brain regions activated in this process. The subjects were asked to identify the correct option when matching given section lines in a planar drawing. The correct answer rate and response time were used to score brain activation during spatial task processes. A total of 16 valid subjects were divided into high-and low-accuracy groups according to the correct answer rate. Results: The results for the high-accuracy group showed that the left inferior frontal gyrus was activated during spatial design tasks. In contrast, the findings for the low-accuracy group revealed that the left middle occipital gyrus was activated for processing visual information. Conclusion: The findings suggest that the frontal lobe plays a role in allowing landscape designers to make planar to cross-sectional inferences via mental rotations and categorical spatial relations. The findings offer implications for landscape designers in stimulating the frontal lobe and enhancing their design capabilities.
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