Since the ancients found that buildings can affect sound - hence acoustics - architects have known that the way buildings are constructed can affect the way people think and feel in them. And as science advances, especially neuroscience, the tools available to create new moods through new buildings keep multiplying. This was an interesting discovery:

An experiment conducted at the University of Minnesota asserts that ceiling height can Dubrogersphotographyronnetterileyar affect how one thinks. In a series of experiments, people were asked to do perform certain tasks, some of which favored abstract thinking and others favoring detail-oriented thinking. It was found that, in general, people focused more on specifics when the ceiling was eight feet high and more on the abstract when the ceiling was ten feet high. One of the authors of the study, Joan Meyers-Levy, suggested that this has great implications. She suggested that, perhaps, managers would want higher ceilings to think of new, broad initiatives while technicians and engineers might want lower ceilings to help them focus on details.

According to [Jim] Olds, [a neuroscientist at George Mason University], not every design firm is sold on the idea that architecture affects people on a neurological level. Still, he notes that what he calls ‘neuromarketting’ is a growing and well funded field that could well expand into mainstream architecture.

“Well, neuromarketting is a big field and it’s highly funded… And brain scanning is now replacing the focus group as a way to do marketing and certainly product placement in a retail space is an extremely important component of marketing,” said Olds.

More here.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.