Art and the Mind

What happens in our brains when we see artwork that we find beautiful? Why do we react this way, and what does it mean? Scientists in the emerging field of neuroaesthetics are probing what it is about art that moves us, using technologies that allow us to study the brain’s response in astounding detail. Their insights are providing us with a new way to look at art and the mind. This World Science Festival program brings together leading researchers in the field of neuroaesthetics, along with the dynamic painter and sculptor, Matthew Ritchie, to explore the power of visual art and the biology behind it.

Admission to the lecture is free with museum admission (pay what you wish).

David Freedberg
Art HistorianDavid Freedberg is best known for his work related to psychological responses to art—particularly for his studies of iconoclasm and censorship. He is now devoting a substantial portion of his attention to collaborations with neuroscientists working in the fields of vision, movement, and emotion.

Matthew Ritchie
Painter, Sculptor, Digital Artist Matthew Ritchie is a painter, sculptor and digital artist. His work combines science, architecture, history, and the dynamics of culture to explore the idea of information, and is featured in the collections of numerous institutions, including MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum. In 2001, Time magazine listed him as one of its 100 innovators for the new millenium.

Luke Syson
Art CuratorLuke Syson received his BA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where he also studied for three years in the Ph.D. program, with a focus on ruler portraiture in 15th-century Milan, Ferrara, and Mantua.

Edward A. Vessel
NeuroscientistEdward Vessel is an internationally recognized expert on neuroaesthetics. His research combines brain imaging with behavioral and computational approaches to study how individuals are moved by, and get pleasure from, visual experiences. He has been invited to speak on his work to professional and lay audiences at conferences and art museums across the U.S. and in Europe.

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  • Ellen

    Very interesting discussion. I learned something and I thought that they had assembled an excellent group to look at different sides of this issue.

    June 2, 2013

  • abcd

    Hi Karen,

    I am terribly sorry to miss you all today. I was out this morning and definitely planning to join you all when I came down with heat exhaustion.

    June 2, 2013

  • Elaine

    Unfortunately I'm not feeling well. Sounds like such a great event. Enjoy everyone!

    June 2, 2013

  • Ron H.

    Probably will go directly to the Met. Any plans to hang out after?

    June 2, 2013

    • Ron H.

      Maybe we could meet to the left of the doors after, that is further away from the main entrance to the museum.

      June 2, 2013

    • Barbara

      good idea...........

      June 2, 2013

  • Shu

    Can I get the details of where we're meeting?

    June 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Me too please

      June 2, 2013

    • Karen

      Hi Shu & Claire: Just sent each of you an email about where we'll be meeting.

      June 2, 2013

  • Kent

    Pulled my back playing tennis yesterday. Sorry!

    June 2, 2013

  • Andrea

    Saw Karen's post from 3 days ago about an email with meeting details. Any word on this yet?

    June 1, 2013

    • Karen

      Hi Andrea: I sent the email before you RSVPed. Will send it to the latest attendees shortly.

      June 1, 2013

  • abcd

    when and where are we meeting?????

    May 28, 2013

    • Karen

      Hi abcd: I'll send an email to attendees a couple days before the event (probably Friday) with details about where we'll be meeting.

      May 29, 2013

  • hannah

    cannot make it this time

    May 23, 2013

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