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Certified NYC Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano has over 20-years of on-site and remote Feng Shui & Design consulting. Consultations, seminars and classes provided in New York City and Los Angeles California, along with National and International locations.

Feng Shui Manhattan Blog

Certified Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano provides weekly Feng Shui Tips and insights, paired with the latest scientific studies, discussions about additional supportive healing modalities and healthier lifestyle choices for the body, mind and spirit.

Filtering by Tag: neuroscientists

How Selecting Artwork with Feng Shui Can Influence your Mind and Emotions

Laura Cerrano

Feng Shui teaches the importance of becoming more present and aware of your surroundings. In the practice of Feng Shui your home is metaphor of your life and the artwork you choose to display (consciously or subconsciously) is telling a story, conveying a mood, an idea and stirring up emotions. 

Art is highly subjective and what inspires one person may be uninspiring to another. So this is why it's important to understand your intentions (the reasons) for why you are choosing to transform your home and life. 

Below are Feng Shui principles to consider when choosing art.

Quick Steps to Choosing Artwork: 

  • Select artwork that is appropriate in size for the wall, the room and the furnishings. Even this helps to create harmony. 


  • To select the type of artwork, become clearer with your intentions for why you are selecting artwork in the first place. Is it to represent a change in love? in career? in health? Based on that, you could then move to selecting certain colors, shapes, artists, themes and more to help narrow down your choices.


  • The act of choosing artwork and selecting the style and subject matter that peaks your interests is allowing you to get to know yourself. There is a deeper approach then just hanging artwork. It helps to visually display your values and dreams.

I’m personally not a fan of store bought mass produced artwork, which I did start off with until I graduated to a much more personalized touch and collection. The artwork that currently resides inside my home consists of pieces created by family and friends, art purchased from local villages and towns from my travels and artwork that I personally created. Each piece has a story, a rich meaning and strong positive emotional connection.

When was the last time you truly observed the story being told inside your home?

Science Proves the Benefits of Using Curved Designs in Feng Shu

Laura Cerrano

A foundational suggestion in Feng Shui is to select furniture that has rounded designs or soft edges. Why is that? In the terms of Feng Shu, rounded designs and soft edges help to generate "Sheng Chi." This type of ch'i mimics the natural designs of nature and offers a stronger opportunity for life force energy to flow throughout your home with ease.  

For the more analytical minds we now have scientific proof that supports the importance of this tangible Feng Shui suggestion.

Experiments conducted in 2010 and 2013 by neuroscientists from the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, the University of Toronto at Scarborough and a study published in the National Academy of Sciences have all concluded the same results with quantifiable data.

Artwork of Jean Arp

Artwork of Jean Arp

The Question: 

What shapes are most pleasing and what exactly is happening in our brains when we look at them?

The Answer:

“We wanted to be rigorous about it, quantitative, that is, try to really understand what kind of information neurons are encoding and…why some things would seem more pleasing or preferable to human observers than other things. I have found it to be almost universally true in data and also in audiences that the vast majority have a specific set of preferences,” says Charles E. Connor, director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.

The studies concluded participants viewing organic forms (like artwork from Jean Arp), architecture and interior decor with rounded shapes demonstrated increased brain activity. Verbally, participants used words like "beautiful" and "pleasing" to describe what they saw. 


So why do humans prefer rounded shapes vs sharp and jagged edges? 

Scientist share their thoughts:

“Shallow convex surface curvature is characteristic of living organisms, because it is naturally produced by the fluid pressure of healthy tissue (e.g. muscle) against outer membranes (e.g. skin). The brain may have evolved to process information about such smoothly rounded shapes in order to guide survival behaviors like eating, mating and predator evasion. In contrast, the brain may devote less processing to high curvature, jagged forms, which tend to be inorganic (e.g. rocks) and thus less important.” 

Does this mean your entire home needs to be full of rounded things? No. Yet it does mean, it's strongly suggested to have a balance of rounded designed items and furniture to generate a more positive feeling and brain stimulation.

Smithsonian Magazine - Do Our Brains Find Certain Shapes Then Others?