The National Trust has always believed that natural and historic places have a powerful effect on all of us, but they wanted to understand why places mean so much to us. What is at the heart of that connection, exactly?
We began with neuroscience: brain scanning using fMRI. A window soon opened into how we respond neurologically to those places that matter. It provided scientific evidence of this deep emotional bond. A tangible, visible, emotional link between a human being and a place that is often difficult to put into words.
We then combined large-scale quantitative research, grounded in behavioral psychology, with in-depth qualitative exploration into this emotional connection. Combined, they gave the National Trust insights into people’s connections to places that were rigorously accurate and emotionally resonant. Our report laid the foundations for their campaign on why places mean so much, and the need to protect these places.