• From Mirror Neurons to the Mona Lisa

    Visual Art and the Brain

    From Mirror Neurons to the Mona Lisa

    Visual Art and the Brain

    Speakers: Suzanne Anker (SVA), Nell Breyer (MIT), Felice Frankel (MIT), David Freedberg (Columbia University), Eric Heller (Harvard University), Margaret Livingstone (Harvard University Medical School), V. S. Ramachandran (University of California, San Diego), Devorah Sperber (Artist), Barbara Tversky (Stanford University)Presented by the Science & the Arts at CUNY Graduate Center and the New York Academy of Sciences.

    Supported by the David Schwarz family and the National Science Foundation
    Reported by Catherine Zandonella | Posted March 22, 2006


    A painting or sculpture has the power to evoke strong feelings, and it is common to say these feelings reside in the gut, the bones, or the heart. In truth, however, the most important body part involved in our response to art is the brain. Our eyes might act as conduits to relay information to our neural circuitry, but it is the brain that controls the experience of what we see. Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but what is it about the brain that makes us respond to art?

    A daylong symposium on November 5, 2005 entitled Visual Art and the Brain sought to explore different facets of the relationship between art and neuroscience. Sponsored by the City University of New York Science & the Arts program and the New York Academy of Sciences, the symposium presented the viewpoints of neuroscientists, science communicators, and artists who work at the interface of these fundamentally different disciplines.

    Please use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.