Neuroscience vs Art: Let’s talk across the divide

Can the messy richness of art be reduced to neuroscience? It’s not clear, but the various parties can at least agree on common ground. How art operates on brains is interesting but does not get us far in terms of the specificity of the art.

There are clearly exciting developments in the neuroscience of art.  We are learning more and more about where and how different aspects of visual art are processed in the brain. It might be demonstrating the obvious to show that a Rothko operates differently on the brain from a Rembrandt self-portrait, though it is of undoubted interest to track the processes involved. But while revealing the basic mechanisms is interesting and potentially important, it does not get us far in terms of the specificity of the art, given our individual perspectives as viewers and the particular contexts in play when we were studying.


Read also: Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the two cultures

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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