Art and Neuroscience: A State of the Union

  • Noah HuttonEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Bio- and Neurosystems book series (SSBN, volume 10)


In its emphasis on the feedback loops of top-down and bottom-up signal processing in the brain, and the exquisitely muddy area where they meet, the last century of psychology and neuroscience supports a model of aesthetic engagement wherein we meet the world halfway. In its unavoidable mustering of the totality of a person’s taste, expectation, and memory, as well as the social and political forces of the world around them, aesthetic engagement is thus far from a passive act. Yet too often the dialogue between art and neuroscience pulls the analysis of aesthetic engagement into the apolitical, sanitized, averaging language of science—treating art as an exotic stimulus and the brain as a universalized end-domain for us to plant our flag of understanding. From the pitfalls of neuroaesthetic inquiry to a real-world case study of interdisciplinary dialogue run amok, this chapter examines critical stumbling blocks and possibilities for future engagements.


Neuroscience Art history Aesthetics Politics Society Interdisciplinary 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarNew YorkUSA

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