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Studies undertaken on rats to understand the cognitive process of spatial perception have revealed that the brain responds when the animals move to certain locations in an environment. Patterns of brain activity were recorded in correlation to the location of the rats. ‘Place Cells’ are the term to describe where the brain activity occurs when triggered by an external stimulus.
This perception of ‘sense of space’ is the product of a careful creation of elements combined to provide an optimum psychological fit between people and their physical surroundings. An area of our brains called the parahippocampal place area (PPA) plays an important role in the recognition of our scenes rather than faces or objects. Further studies into the correlation between space and activation within the PPA is integral in better understanding why external factors trigger psychological reactions. There is only one institution that is concerned specifically the link between external stimuli and the body and this is The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) that was created in 2003 to explore ways to link the research of neuroscience to the practice of architecture.