Examining wayfinding behaviours in architectural spaces using brain imaging with electroencephalography (EEG)


ARCHITECTURAL SCIENCE REVIEW, vol.61, no.6, pp.410-428, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00038628.2018.1523129
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.410-428


The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of gender, age, level of education, and ceiling height on cognitive processing and wayfinding, and to investigate these effects on architectural design using a brain imaging method. Three spaces of different heights are tested to identify the factors affecting changes in wayfinding behaviour. The study uses a sample of 343 people with different levels of education, ages and gender to investigate circulation duration and exiting times in the different spaces. Participants' wayfinding behaviours are analysed using virtual reality glasses and electroencephalography (EEG). EEG is a test used to evaluate electrical activity in the brain. The axle-maps generated by the pedestrian axes, using software developed for this study, are examined during the wayfinding behaviours. An object-space matching test was developed to determine at what point the different objects placed in the spaces are observed by the participants. After navigating the different spaces, participants take an object-space matching test based on the objects seen in their navigation of the spaces. Apart from the being influenced by space-plan orientation, wayfinding behaviour is shown to be related to personal and social characteristics of people, and that the height of the space influences wayfinding behaviour. It is hoped that these findings will improve future architectural design.