Advertisement

Art and Neuroscience: A State of the Union

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Neuroscience Art history Aesthetics Politics Society Interdisciplinary 

References

  1. 1.
    Barad, K.M.: Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke University Press, Durham (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Changizi, M.: Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man. BenBella Books, Dallas (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gallese, V.: The empathic body in experimental aesthetics—embodied simulation and art. Empathy 181–199 (2017)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Harari, Y.N.: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. McClelland & Stewart, S.l. (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kandel, E.: Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures. Columbia University Press, S.l. (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Livingstone, M., Hubel, D.: Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing. Abrams, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Loemker, L. (Trans., ed.) Leibniz Philosophical Papers, p. 697. Chicago University Press, Chicago. (1956)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Noë, A.: Art and the Limits of Neuroscience (2011). Retrieved from https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/art-and-the-limits-of-neuroscience/
  9. 9.
    Raichle, M.E.: The brain’s default mode network. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 38(1), 433–447 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vessel, E.A., Starr, G.G., Rubin, N.: Art reaches within: aesthetic experience, the self and the default mode network. Front. Neurosci. 7 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations