Neuroesthetics (or neuroaesthetics) is a relatively recent sub-discipline of empirical aesthetics. Empirical aesthetics takes a scientific approach to the study of aesthetic perceptions of art and music. Neuroesthetics is an attempt to combine neurological research with aesthetics by investigating the experience of beauty and appreciation of art on the level of brain functions and mental states. The recently developed field seeks the neural correlates of artistic judgment and artistic creation. It is widely accepted that visual aesthetics, namely the capacity of assigning different degrees of beauty to certain forms, colors, or movements, is a human trait acquired after the divergence of human and ape lineages.
Neuroesthetics received its formal definition in 2002 as the scientific study of the neural bases for the contemplation and creation of a work of art. Neuroesthetics uses neurosicience to explain and understand the aesthetic experiences at the neurological level. The topic attracts scholars from many disciplines including neuroscientists, art historians, aritsts and psychologists.
With the aim of discovering general rules about aesthetics, one approach is the observation of subjects viewing art and the exploration of the mechanics of vision.The theory of art can be broken down into distinct components. The logic of art is often discussed in terms of whether it is guided by a set of universal laws or principles. Additionally, the evolutionary rationale for the formation and characteristics of these principles are sought. Tying in the human experience, the determination of specific brain circuitry involved can help pinpoint the origin of the human response through the use of brain imaging in experimentation.
The Neuroaestheics Symposium, held in cooperation with the Hertie Foundation, aims at establishing a connection between current developments in the neurosciences and the arts. It tries, on the one hand, to initiate a potential way for art to gain access and draw inspiration from the neurosciences, and on the other, for neuroscience to obtain novel means of articulating their experimental results. The concept of neuroaesthetics was introduced to enable a definition of artistic creativity at the neurological level, as the expression of brain functions.
Today, with the advancement of innovative media, technical media, understood as extensions of human sense organs, establish novel integrations of various sense organs. The neuroscientist Paul Bach-y-Rita spoke of sensory substitution, whereby any one sense organ can tendentially take over functions of every other sense organ. Through the interaction of different brain regions, novel chains of association are being produced, which in turn generate creativity. Aesthetic experience can hereby serve as a field of experimentation of this generation of connections between different sensory perceptions, which allows for the creation of creative processes.
Symposium speakers include: Joan Y. Chiao, Shihui Han, Arijana Kajfes, Shinobu Kitayama, Peter König, Warren Neidich, Israel Nelken, Fiona Newell, Alva Noë, Georg Northoff, Patricia Pisters, Shinsuke Shimojo, Julia Simner, Diemut Strebe, Charles Vacanti, and others.
Symposium at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, November 22-24, 2012
Kindly supported and in cooperation with the Hertie foundation.
As part of several joint projects on creativity and innovation, which were initiated by theZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the Akademie Schloss Solitude, the symposium »Neuroaesthetics« aims at establishing a platform of communication between the neurosciences and the arts. It will try, on the one hand, to open up the possibility for art to gain insight and draw inspiration from the neurosciences, and on the other, for the neurosciences to open up new ways of articulating their experimental results to a broader audience.
A program of the symposium can be found here.
The project is financed by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg.
Media partners are
Gehirn und Geist
November 22–24, 2012
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.
A live stream will enable interested persons, who are not able to attend it personally, to follow the symposium: http://www.kaepsele-connection.de/index.php/en/neuroaesthetik.html
Address: ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Lorenzstrasse 19 76135, Karlsruhe, Germany. More information on the speakers and the program can be found here:http://www.kaepsele-connection.de/index.php/en/neuroaesthetik.html