Design space is a common abstraction in design research used in the investigation of design cognition. Characteristic properties of design spaces and how they change are underexplored. Design spaces can vary with the design task and the task constraints, which are assumed to result in indifferences in relevant neuro-cognitive processes. This paper presents the results of analyzing the brain activity, measured using EEG, of 32 professional mechanical engineers and industrial designers while performing constrained and open design tasks. The neurophysiological activations during three stages, namely, reading the task, earliest reaction, and open externalization while designing in constrained and open design tasks are compared based on EEG frequency band power. Results indicate significant differences between constrained and open tasks for the beta frequency bands in the earliest reaction stage, in areas of the brain associated with the cognitive functions of semantic associations, planning and executive control. The first reaction in the open design request results in higher and significantly different brain activations from the first reaction produced in the constrained design task. Significant differences were also found in the alpha 2 and beta frequency bands of higher brain activation in the open externalization stage, for areas of the brain associated with visual mental imagery, search for originality, goal-intensive processing, planning and executive control. We show that EEG brain activation is sensitive to the level of constraints in designing, in particular, alpha2 and beta bands can act as proxies of the change and expansion of design spaces.

Design Spaces: Neurophysiological Activations in Constrained and Open Design Tasks

S. Li;G. Cascini
In corso di stampa

Abstract

Design space is a common abstraction in design research used in the investigation of design cognition. Characteristic properties of design spaces and how they change are underexplored. Design spaces can vary with the design task and the task constraints, which are assumed to result in indifferences in relevant neuro-cognitive processes. This paper presents the results of analyzing the brain activity, measured using EEG, of 32 professional mechanical engineers and industrial designers while performing constrained and open design tasks. The neurophysiological activations during three stages, namely, reading the task, earliest reaction, and open externalization while designing in constrained and open design tasks are compared based on EEG frequency band power. Results indicate significant differences between constrained and open tasks for the beta frequency bands in the earliest reaction stage, in areas of the brain associated with the cognitive functions of semantic associations, planning and executive control. The first reaction in the open design request results in higher and significantly different brain activations from the first reaction produced in the constrained design task. Significant differences were also found in the alpha 2 and beta frequency bands of higher brain activation in the open externalization stage, for areas of the brain associated with visual mental imagery, search for originality, goal-intensive processing, planning and executive control. We show that EEG brain activation is sensitive to the level of constraints in designing, in particular, alpha2 and beta bands can act as proxies of the change and expansion of design spaces.
design spaces, constrained and open design, electroencephalography, mechanical engineers, industrial designers, design spacesindex
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1200942
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