Psychotextiles and their interaction with the human brain

George K Stylios, Meixuan Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The stimulation of our senses is done by thought and influenced by our environment. This chapter endevours to understand the working of our brain by investigating the relationship between artistic patterns and brain activity. We have designed modern textile SMART fabrics that have two state changes in their pattern by using a new thermochromic composite yarn. Four pattern changing fabrics were carefully designed and knitted to test symmetry, continuity, size, geometry and intensity from the total of eight associated patterns. The whole brain of 20 volunteers was scanned by a 19-lead EEG equipment coupled with self-evaluation using the SAM scales for objective-subjective correlation. The agreement between brain emotional data and self-evaluation data was overwhelming. We found that identical patterns with symmetrical, regular, well defined repeating designs excite and please people and smaller symetrical, continuous repeating square shapes exhibit calmness and low arousal, whilst patterns of nonrepeating designs with irregular intensity exhibit higher arousal and excitement. This study reveals that we can purposely design switching of patterns that can influence specific human emotions. We can therefore now say that we are able to purposely design textile art which can actively influence our psychological state; we call these textiles “phychotextiles”. This work has implications beyond art and textiles, into other materials, interiors, architecture, product design and it paves the way in the understanding of the influence of colour with shape. This research is being extended to incorporate touch, smell and taste and their influence to human emotion. It contributes to neuroscience and to art and it bridges the two by implication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSMART textiles and their application
EditorsVladan Koncar
PublisherWoodhead Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages43
ISBN (Electronic)9780081005743
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Pattern-changing effect, , , ,
  • Psychotextiles
  • SAM effective rating system
  • Smart textiles
  • Thermochromic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Neuroscience
  • General Materials Science
  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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