2023 Finalist essay by Isabella Bower

Isabella Bower Essay | How do our environments affect our minds?


Lecture by Anne Brunet

How do our environments affect our minds? 

My research aims to understand the impact that design characteristics of the built environment have on cognitive processes, such as attention, perception, and emotional regulation. To achieve this, I combine psychology (behavior), neurobiology (brain), and physiology (body) data and methods with engineering (virtual reality) and insight from architecture (design practices) to analyze the impact of the buildings that we occupy on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. Notably, this incremental and methodologically rigorous approach enables me to separate confounding variables, which previous work in this emergent field had not considered.