Workshop Two: Urban Brainwear

10.00 – 15.00, Friday 14th October 2016

Beginning with a promenade along a segment of Edinburgh’s historic Holyrood Park, this workshop took participants into the city’s unique Innocent Railway Tunnel (now a walking route) to see mobile neural imaging technology in action, as we called on a volunteer to wear an unobtrusive EEG headset and backpack for the duration of our short stroll.

Back at the conference centre, we plotted the EEG data from our volunteer as a graph, indicating their affective responses to spaces, encounters, events, views, transitions and obstacles along the route. Then, we overlaid this information on a map of the journey, looking for correspondences and discrepancies with the walker’s affective responses.

By the end of the session, we’d created a large, interpretive map marked up with comments and impressions based on data from one person’s observed journey along a unique urban and rural environment. This formed the basis of a group discussion about emotional dimensions of place and the opportunities for gaining new insights into how setting impacts on mood and behaviour using mobile neural imaging methods, observational data and mapping.


Richard Coyne (Mobility, Mood and Place Co-Investigator), Dorothea Kalogianni (PhD candidate in Architecture) and Agnes Patuano (PhD candidate in Landscape Architecture).


• Augoyard, Jean-François. 2007. Step by Step: Everyday Walks in a French Urban Housing Project. Trans. David Ames Curtis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. First published in French in 1979. • De Zegher, Catherine, and Mark Wigley (eds). 2001. The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architecture from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. • Aspinall, P., Mavros, P., Coyne, R. and Roe, J. 2013. The urban brain: analysing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEGin the British Journal of Sports Medicine doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091877 • Roe, J., Aspinall, P., Mavros, P. and Coyne, R. 2013. ‘Engaging the brain: the impact of natural versus urban scenes using novel EEG methods in an experimental setting’ in Environmental Sciences 1(2):  93-104.

> Find out about Workshop One: Design for Dementia

> Find out about Workshop Three: Places, then and now, how do they influence our health?

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