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01 Jan 2019,

Design Neurocognition: Understanding of Design Through Studies of the Brain

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This thematic collection seeks to capture exciting design neurocognition research across all neuroimaging modalities (fMRI, fNIRs, EEG, etc.), as well as to identify and delineate future directions for research in design neurocognition.

The Design Science Journal Thematic Collection is a collection of articles around a particular theme which appears in the journal within a calendar year. Accepted articles prior to the deadline go through production and are published online as usual (one at a time so there is no delay), but they are reviewed following the standard processes.

Design Science aims to facilitate communication across diverse fields and to serve as a bridge across several communities, publishing original quantitative and qualitative research but with a strong emphasis on accessibility by scholars across diverse disciplines. Design Science articles typically include comprehensive introductory materials to facilitate such accessibility.

Design Neurocognition: Advancing Understanding of Design Through Studies of the Brain

Deadline for submissions: 31st May 2019

Significant effort within the design research community has been devoted to design cognition, an area in which researchers attempt to understand the set of cognitive processes underpinning designing. Historically, these processes have been studied using “black box” experiments, where the output of carefully designed studies can be used to infer how internal processes of the mind relate to design activity.

However, recent advances in techniques and tools for measuring brain activity provide design researchers with the opportunity to more directly study the internal workings of the brain. We define this emerging research area broadly as design neurocognition. In design neurocognition, techniques for studying the brain are applied to further advance our knowledge of the design process. We are interested in papers from all design domains.

Several neurocognitive approaches for measuring cognitive brain activation have been applied to design: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), function near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and electroencephalography (EEG). Each approach offers a unique tradeoff between various properties of spatial and temporal resolution. Using these approaches, researchers can contribute to the understanding of specific cognitive processes of the designer engaged in design activity.

A wide variety of design cognition is well suited to neurocognitive studies. In addition to studying designer cognition, neurocognitive techniques can also provide significant value through studies of users of designed artefacts, with the specific intention of informing and improving design knowledge.

This thematic collection seeks to capture exciting design neurocognition research across all neuroimaging modalities (fMRI, fNIRs, EEG, etc.), as well as to identify and delineate future directions for research in design neurocognition.

Representative topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Neurocognitive studies of design processes and activities
  • Neurocognitive studies of users related to design
  • Studies using open source neuroimaging data relevant to design
  • Techniques and/or methods papers linking results from design neurocognition studies to design theory, methods, and tools


For additional topics and other questions regarding this collection, please contact the Guest Editors.

Guest Editors

John Gero, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and George Mason University
Email: john@johngero.com

Kosa Goucher-Lambert, University of California, Berkeley
Email: kosa@berkeley.edu

Tripp Shealy, Virginia Tech
Email: tshealy@vt.edu

Yong Zehg, Concordia University
Email: young.zeng@concordia.ca

Other information:

For all questions on the Design Science journal please contact Panos Y. Papalambros, Editor in Chief, or John S. Gero, Co-Editor in Chief.