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Visual Art and the Brain

Visual Art and the Brain

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Harold M. Proshansky Auditorium, CUNY Graduate Center

Presented By

Presented by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the New York Academy of Sciences


This one-day conference will explore the nature of the science–art interface, the inspiration this interface provides to scientists and artists alike, and the impact of such interactions in areas of research and other human endeavors.

The morning session will feature a discussion of the current knowledge of vision, why we perceive art in certain ways, and emotional response to art. The afternoon session will focus on the interface of art and science and will include discussions with artists and scientists whose work represent the beauty and power of science.


  • Suzanne Anker (School of Visual Arts)
  • Nell Breyer (artist)
  • Felice Frankel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • David Freedberg (Columbia University)
  • Eric Heller (Harvard University)
  • Margaret Livingstone (Harvard Medical School)
  • V. S. Ramachandran (University of California, San Diego)
  • Devorah Sperber (artist)
  • Barbara Tversky (Stanford University)
  • Torsten Wiesel (Rockefeller University)


9:00 AM
Registration & Continental Breakfast

10:00 AM
Opening Remarks

10:05 AM 
Session 1:   How Does the Brain See Art?

12:45 PM
Lunch Break

2:15 PM
Session 2:   Cognitive and Practical Approaches to Creating Visual Expressions of Scientific Information

3:45 PM
Coffee Break

4:15 PM
Session 3:   Relating Art and Science

5:45 PM
Closing Remarks

We greatfully acknowledge the support of the David Schwarz family and the National Science Foundation.