Navigating in PlaceSummary
The space we inhabit influences our perception, constrains our thoughts, and shapes our behaviour. Larger spaces facilitate creative use of everyday objects, while arrangement of furniture affects the use of spaces for discussion vs. presentation. In this era of physical isolation, confined spaces are detrimental to mental health, stress and anxiety. How do we perceive space in these confining times, and overcome barriers to open up our minds to more creative environment?
We examine cognitive maps that evolve with generative spaces, as humans enter virtual contexts to experience different functional spaces. Neuroscientists have found place cells in the hippocampus that fire whenever humans approach a location in a room. These cells remap when humans passage to different contexts, and rescale when the room is scaled larger. Place cells also replay their own prior activity as humans learn from their own navigation in space. These neuroscience insights are captured by presenting models of place cells as humans traverse virtual spaces that generate from confined areas to richer, surprising environments.