Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology

Zakaria Djebbara is the 1st price winner of the MoBI award 2020

Zakaria Djebbara won The Barin Products MoBI Award which recognizes excellence in the field of Mobile Brain/Body Imaging (MoBI) research.

Last modified: 25.05.2020


Text by Sarah Guldhammer

Zakaria Djebbare is the winner of the MoBI award with his research article “Sensorimotor brain dynamics refelect architectural affordances”. Zakaria and his team made use of cutting-edge technology where they crossed virtual reality with a mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) solution to investigate how architecture has an impact on brain dynamics.

This filed of research is exactly what the MoBI award is about. The Brain Products MoBI Award is a biennially presented award and recognizes excellence in the field of Mobile Brain/Body Imaging research.

Brain Products GmbH writes: “The MoBI field is growing quickly. New technology has made it possible to record EEG and other measurements from freely moving subjects and in real life situations. The aim of the award is to benefit the mobile brain and body imaging field and to motivate scientists who bring EEG out of the lab and into the real world.”

Zakarias project questioned whether and how architectural affordances are reflected in sensorimotor brain dynamics. Particularly, they were interested in the timing of perceptual processes and motor processes to investigate their relations. Architects must get a better grasp of affordances as they are reflected in the action-perception cycle because any line we draw as architects will have an impact on the mentioned cycle—which in turn is involved in other major cognitive processes in the brain and body.

Zakaria Djebbara recently finished his PhD at The Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology with his project: “Expecting space: an enactive and active inference to transitions”.

He focus on the integration between architecture and cognitive neuroscience. He investigates the structure of architectural experience during spatial transitions from an enactive and active inference perspective. With a specific interest in the dynamic process of action-perception cycle, the experimental setups are based on a Mobile Brain/Body Imaging technique that reveals cortical activity in an animate being using an electroencephalogram

Zakaria is very proud of receiving the MoBI award and tells:

“I am very excited to receive this award! This award is a milestone in my research career because it is an acknowledgment of my work by the MoBI community and a huge motivation to continue pursuing architectural questions through cognitive neuroscience.”

The next step is to investigate how architecture impacts the oscillations in the brain. I will continue analyzing the current datasets, but we are already planning new exciting experiments, which we hope to commence soon. We are also looking into producing computational models of our current datasets to generate new hypotheses. I believe there is a lot to be uncovered by the emerging field, namely architectural cognition. “

On behalf of The Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology we congratelate you and we look forward to follow and see what your research bring in the future.