Book chapter

Verso le neuroscienze del processo progettuale

Michael Arbib
USC Viterbi School of Engineering, United States - ORCID: 0000-0002-6902-3580


Introduces some key notions of cognitive (neuro)science including mirror neurons and perceptual and motor schemas. Much important processing may be subconscious. Af-fordances link multi-modal perception and action. Three linkages of architecture and neuroscience are noted: neuroscience of experience; neuroscience of design; and neuro-morphic architecture, “brains” for buildings. Examples are offered from Zumthor’s Therme at Vals (linking memory and imagination) and a case study of group creativity in choreography (illustrating four-dimensional planning).
Read more

Keywords: cognitive (neuro)science; mirror neurons; perceptual and motor schemas; neuromorphic architecture; memory and imagination.



Pages: 78-101

Published by: Firenze University Press

Publication year: 2021

DOI: 10.36253/978-88-5518-286-7.06

Download PDF

© 2021 Author(s)
Content licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Metadata licence CC0 1.0


Publication year: 2021

DOI: 10.36253/978-88-5518-286-7.06

Download XML

© 2021 Author(s)
Content licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Metadata licence CC0 1.0


  1. Arbib M., Lee J.Y. 2008, “Describing Visual Scenes: Towards a Neurolinguistics Based on Construction Grammar”, in «Brain Research» n. 1225, pp. 146–162.
  2. Arbib M., Bonaiuto J.J., Jacobs S., and Frey S.H., “Tool Use and the Distalization of the End-Effector”, in «Psychological Research» n. 73 (2008), pp. 441-462.
  3. Arbib M., Gasser B., Barrès V. 2014, “Language is handy but is it embodied?”, in «Neuropsychologia», Vol. 55, marzo, pp. 57-70.
  4. Arbib Michael 1972, The Metaphorical Brain: An Introduction to Cybernetics as Artificial Intelligence and Brain Theory, Wiley-Interscience, New York.
  5. Arbib Michael 1989, The Metaphorical Brain 2: Neural Networks and Beyond, Wiley-Interscience, New York.
  6. Arbib Michael 2003, “Rana Computatrix to Human Language: Towards a Computational Neuroethology of Language Evolution”, in «Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A Math, Physics, Engineering Science» n. 361, pp. 2345-2379.
  7. Arbib Michael 2012, “Brains, Machines and Buildings: Towards a Neuromorphic Architecture”, in «Intelligent Buildings International» n. 4, pp. 147-168.
  8. Arbib Michael 2012, “Tool Use and Constructions”, in «Behavioral and Brain Sciences» n. 35, pp. 218-219.
  9. Arbib Michael 2012, How the Brain Got Language: The Mirror Systems Hypothesis, Oxford University Press, New York.
  10. Buccino G., Lui F., Canessa N., Patteri I., Lagravinese G. et al. 2004, “Neural Circuits Involved in the Recognition of Actions Performed by Nonconspecifics: An fMRI Study”, in «Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience» n. 16, pp. 114-126.
  11. Collias N. E. 1997, “On the Origin and Evolution of Nest Building by Passerine Birds”, in «Condor» n. 99, pp. 253-269.
  12. Croft William 2001, Radical Construction Grammar: Syntactic Theory in Typological Perspective, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  13. Di Pellegrino G., Fadiga L., Fogassi L., Gallese V., Rizzolatti G. 1992, “Understanding Motor Events: A Neurophysiological Study”, in «Experimental Brain Research» n. 91, pp. 176-180;
  14. Donald Merlin 2011, L’evoluzione della mente, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino.
  15. Eberhard John P. 2008, Brain Landscape: The Coexistence of Neuroscience and Architecture, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  16. Gallese V., Fadiga L., Fogassi L., Rizzolatti G. 1996, “Action Recognition in the Premotor Cortex”, in «Brain» n. 119, pp. 593-609.
  17. Ganis G., Thompson W.L., Kosslyn S.M. 2004, “Brain Areas Underlying Visual Mental Imagery and Visual Perception: An fMRI Study”, in «Cognitive Brain Research» n. 20, pp. 226-241.
  18. Goldberg A.E., “Constructions: A New Theoretical Approach to Language”, in «Trends in Cognitive Science» n. 7 (2003), pp. 219-224.
  19. Gombrich Ernst H., Gregory Richard L., a cura di, 1980, Illusion in Nature and Art, Duckworth, Londra.
  20. Hansell M., Ruxton G. 2008, “Setting Tool Use within the Context of Animal Construction Behaviour”, in «Trends in Ecology and Evolution» n. 23, pp. 73-78.
  21. Hansell Mike 2000, Bird Nests and Construction Behavior, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  22. Hunt G.R. 1996, “Manufacture and Use of Hook-Tools by New Caledonian Crows”, in «Nature» n. 379, pp. 249-251.
  23. Iriki A., Taoka M. 2011, “Triadic Niche Construction: A Scenario of Human Brain Evolution Extrapolating Tool-Use and Language from Control of the Reaching Actions”, in «Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences» n. 366.
  24. Ishai A., Ungerleider L.G., Haxby J.V. 2000, “Distributed Neural Systems for the Generation of Visual Images”, in «Neuron» n. 28, pp. 979-990.
  25. Jeannerod M. 1994, “The Representing Brain: Neural Correlates of Motor Intention and Imagery”, in «Behavioral and Brain Sciences» n. 17, pp. 187-245.
  26. Jeannerod M., Arbib M., Rizzolatti G., Sakata H. 1995, “Grasping Objects: The Cortical Mechanisms of Visuomotor Transformation”, in «Trends in Neuroscience» n. 18, pp. 314-320.
  27. Kemmerer D. 2006, “Action Verbs, Argument Structure Constructions, and the Mirror Neuron System”, in Michael A. Arbib, a cura di, Action to Language via the Mirror Neuron System, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 347-373.
  28. Laland K.N., Odling-Smee F.J., Feldman M.W., “Niche Construction, Biological Evolution, and Cultural Change”, in «Behavioral and Brain Sciences» n. 23 (2000), pp. 131-146.
  29. Lefebvre L., Nicolakakis N., Boire D. 2002, “Tools and Brains in Birds”, in «Behavior» n. 139, pp. 939-973.
  30. Maguire E.A. 1997, “Hippocampal Involvement in Human Topographical Memory: Evidence from Functional Imaging”, in «Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences» n. 352, pp. 1475-1480.
  31. Milner B., Corkin S., Teuber H.L. 1957, “Further Analysis of the Hippocampal Amnesic Syndrome: 14-Year Follow-up Study of H.M.”, in «Neuropsychologia» n. 6, pp. 215-234.
  32. O’Keefe J., Dostrovsky J.O. 1971, “The Hippocampus as a Spatial Map: Preliminary Evidence from Unit Activity in the Freely Moving Rat”, in «Brain Research» n. 34, pp. 171-175.
  33. Pallasmaa Juhani, a cura di, 1995, Eläinten arkkitehtuuri / Animal Architecture, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki.
  34. Passingham R.E., Rowe J.B., Sakai K. 2013, “Has Brain Imaging Discovered Anything New about How the Brain Works?”, in «Neuroimage» n. 66, pp. 142-150.
  35. Piaget Jean 1997, La costruzione del reale nel bambino, La Nuova Italia, Firenze, 1999, e Biologia e conoscenza, Einaudi, Torino.
  36. Rizzolatti G., Craighero L. 2004, “The Mirror-Neuron System”, in «Annual Review of Neuroscience» n. 27, pp. 169-192.
  37. Rizzolatti Giacomo, Sinigaglia Corrado 2006, So quel che fai. Il cervello che agisce e i neuroni specchio, Raffaello Cortina Editore, Milano.
  38. Robinson Sarah 2014, Nesting. Fare il nido. Corpo, dimora, mente, Safarà Editore, Pordenone.
  39. Scoville W., Milner B. 1957, “Loss of Recent Memory after Bilateral Hippocampal Lesions”, in «Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry» n. 20, pp. 11-21, ora in «Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences» n. 12 (2000), pp. 103-113.
  40. Sternberg E., Wilson M.A. 2006, “Neuroscience and Architecture: Seeking Common Ground”, in «Cell» n. 127, pp. 239-242.
  41. Stevens Kate 2005, “Chronology of Creating a Dance: Anna Smith’s Red Rain”, in R. Grove, Kate Stevens, S. McKechnie, a cura di, Thinking in Four Dimensions: Creativity and Cognition in Contemporary Dance, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 169-187.
  42. Stewart F.A., Piel A.K., McGrew W.C. 2011, “Living Archaeology: Artefacts of Specific Nest Site Fidelity in Wild Chimpanzees”, in «Journal of Human Evolution» n. 61, pp. 388-395.
  43. Tennie C., Call J., Tomasello M. 2009, “Ratcheting Up the Ratchet: On the Evolution of Cumulative Culture”, in «Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Section B, Biological Sciences» n. 364, pp. 2405-2415.
  44. Umiltà M.A., Escola L., Intskirveli I., Grammont F., Rochat M. et al., “When Pliers Become Fingers in the Monkey Motor System”, in «Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences» n. 105 (2008), pp. 2209-2213.
  45. Vaesen K. 2012, “The Cognitive Bases of Human Tool Use”, in «Behavioral and Brain Sciences» n. 35, pp. 203-218.
  46. Verhagen Arie 2005, Constructions of Intersubjectivity: Discourse, Syntax, and Cognition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  47. Weir A. S., Chappell J., Kacelnik A. 2002, “Shaping of Hooks in New Caledonian Crows”, in «Science» n. 297, p. 981.
  48. Zumthor Peter 2007, Pensare architettura, Electa, Milano.

Export citation

Selected format

Usage statistics policy

  • 13Chapter Downloads

Cita come:
Arbib, M.; 2021; Verso le neuroscienze del processo progettuale. Firenze, Firenze University Press.


Indici e aggregatori bibliometrici