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The cognitive roots of space syntax

Mora Vega, R.I.; (2009) The cognitive roots of space syntax. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

During the last twenty-five years of research and real-world studies accomplished all over the globe, space syntax has consistently shown that movement patterns in cities and buildings tend to be strongly related to configurational properties of their respective spatial layouts. It has also been shown that individuals’ trajectories in virtual worlds are affected by the syntactic properties of these environments, and that the resulting emergent patterns may explain the detected correlations between configurational properties of space and movement patterns in real-world scenarios. However, none of these studies have so far attempted to elicit why these regularities occur at a more fundamental, cognitive level. In other words, they have not yet answered how the idea of spatial configuration shapes a person’s qualitative assessments and subsequent usage of spatial networks. This is the topic of this thesis. What kind of information do people extract from spatial configurations? How is this information used when assessing a spatial network qualitatively? How is this information used when one has to use such a network? These are some of the questions that this thesis will attempt to answer. This thesis will focus on map usage. By analysing how people interact with maps, this thesis will attempt to shed light on the processes by which people internalise configurational information and are able to define qualitative judgements that may be use in real-world scenarios. As a result, this thesis aims to be a further step in the ongoing process of linking space syntax with cognitive theory and therefore to contribute in the search of the cognitive roots of space syntax.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The cognitive roots of space syntax
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Graduate Studies

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