Neuroaesthetic Insights with the Smarting PRO EEG System 

Ceramic tiles are not merely functional building materials; they represent a unique blend of artistry, industrial innovation, and architectural expression. From their historic significance to their versatile applications, ceramic tiles play a pivotal role in shaping the aesthetic appeal of architectural spaces. Recent advancements in tile design have witnessed a surge in creativity and diversity, making them indispensable elements in various settings, ranging from homes to museums, schools, and transit hubs. This widespread use underscores the universal applicability of ceramic tiles in both urban and rural environments, where they contribute significantly to the visual experience of individuals. However, understanding the intricate nuances of aesthetic preferences associated with ceramic tile design has been a longstanding challenge for designers and marketers. Traditional methods like interviews and questionnaires have limitations in capturing the subtle physiological responses that underlie these preferences. Enter neuroscience and its cutting-edge techniques. 

Two studies conducted by Chen et al. shed light on this issue by employing electroencephalography (EEG) technology to explore the neural correlates of aesthetic preferences for ceramic tiles. The first study (Chen et al., 2022) focused on uncovering how different tile designs influence neural responses using event-related potentials (ERPs) such as N100, P200, and late positive potential (LPP). These components provide insights into attentional allocation, emotional evaluation, and sustained attention concerning various tile designs. What makes this research particularly robust is the utilisation of the Smarting PRO EEG system, which allowed for precise and continuous recording of EEG signals from 32 scalp locations. This sophisticated equipment, combined with a meticulously designed experimental protocol, enabled researchers to unravel the intricate relationship between aesthetic preferences and neural activity with unprecedented clarity. Building on this foundation, the second study (Chen et al., 2023) delved deeper into specific tile features, including lightness, pattern, and colour, to explore their impact on cognitive processes. By integrating subjective questionnaires with EEG measurements, the researchers obtained a comprehensive understanding of tile preferences, emphasising the alignment between conscious preferences and underlying neural processes. 

The findings from these studies not only contribute to the emerging field of neuroaesthetics but also have tangible implications for design and marketing strategies. By elucidating the neural mechanisms underpinning preferences, designers and marketers can optimise product designs and marketing approaches to better resonate with consumers' preferences and enhance their overall experience. Moreover, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where indoor environments play a crucial role in people's well-being and satisfaction, design interventions informed by neuroscience can further enhance the comfort and functionality of indoor spaces.  

As neuroscience continues to uncover the mysteries of human perception, its integration into design research promises to usher in a new era of user-centric innovation, where products and environments are tailored to meet the needs and preferences of individuals. 


Chen, J. and Cheng, Y. (2022). The relationship between aesthetic preferences of people for ceramic tile design and neural responses: An event-related potential study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 16. DOI: 


Chen, J., He, B., Zhu, H. and Wu, J. (2023). The implicit preference evaluation for the ceramic tiles with different visual features: Evidence from an event-related potential study. Frontiers in Psychology 14. DOI: