Books update

chattIf you still don’t have Anjan Chatterjee’s The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art, it’s now available as a paperback!





oup coverIf you’re  looking for something to go with it, Art, Aesthetics and the Brain, edited by Huston and colleagues, is now out of the oven and still warm!

The neuroaesthetics of prose fiction, by Michael Burke

Burke, M. (2015). The neuroaesthetics of prose fiction: pitfalls, parameters and prospects. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9: 442. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00442


There is a paucity of neuroaesthetic studies on prose fiction. This is in contrast to the very many impressive studies that have been conducted in recent times on the neuroaesthetics of sister arts such as painting, music and dance. Why might this be the case, what are its causes and, of greatest importance, how can it best be resolved? In this article, the pitfalls, parameters and prospects of a neuroaesthetics of prose fiction will be explored. The article itself is part critical review, part methodological proposal and part opinion paper. Its aim is simple: to stimulate, excite and energize thinking in the discipline as to how prose fiction might be fully integrated in the canon of neuroaesthetics and to point to opportunities where neuroimaging studies on literary discourse processing might be conducted in collaborative work bringing humanists and scientists together.

Get the whole paper here!

Postdoctoral position: Neuroaesthetics and your Brain on Dance

Postdoctoral position:

Neuroaesthetics and your Brain on Dance

The Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems invites applications for one National Science Foundation (NSF) -funded postdoctoral  position at the intersection of neuroscience, engineering and the arts. The postdoctoral trainee will work in the areas of neural interfaces, wearable devices, fMRI, and the visual and performing arts in collaboration with leading art institutions in Houston such as the Blaffer museum, the Children’s museum, the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston and the Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine.

The position is with the Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems research group, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas.  For more information about the department please follow the link:

The lab is directed by Professor Dr. Jose L ‘Pepe’ Contreras-Vidal (

Application deadline: 12-01-2015 (or as filled)


Jose L. Contreras-Vidal, Ph.D.
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
Director, Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems
University of Houston
W310 Engineering Building II
Houston, TX  77204-4005
713-743-4429 (O)
713-743-4444 (F)

Description: This project will deploy noninvasive Mobile Brain-body Imaging devices (MoBI) in public and private museums with the goal of assaying individuality and variation in neural activity as it occurs (e.g., “in action and context”) in a large and diverse group of people, including children, experiencing fixed and interactive art exhibits. The research also includes working with neurological music/visual therapists and performing/visual artists to decode intentionality and understand the creative process. Applications to education, art therapy and engineering innovations will be sought. This is a great opportunity for those candidates with interests/skills in both the arts and neuroscience/engineering.

Major responsibilities: The postdoctoral fellow will carry out original research  throughout the period of appointment. Results will be communicated in the form of scientific articles, conference presentations, demonstrations, performances etc. The candidate will work under the supervision of senior researchers with background in neural and cognitive engineering, machine learning, big data analytics, performing arts medicine and neuroscience, and the arts. There will also be opportunities for collaboration with scientists and physicians with the Methodist Hospital Center for Performing Arts Medicine and local museums in the Houston area.

The working time of a postdoctoral fellow is mainly devoted to research and public outreach, but may include supervision of undergraduate and graduate students working in the neuroaesthetic team.

Position summary: Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of three years. Salary is competitive commensurate with experience and skills.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a Ph.D’s degree (or Diploma) in an area of Engineering or Applied Math, or an equivalent or similar background. Expertise or a degree in the Visual or Performing Arts is advantageous. Expertise in two of the following: biomedical signal processing, EEG, motion sensing, scientific programming, arts, neuroscience are required. Furthermore, the position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. High grades in relevant undergraduate courses, C/C++ and hardware implementation experience are advantageous.

University and Department: The University of Houston is located in a park-like campus close to major energy companies and the Texas Medical Center, the largest in the world, and NASA. The Carnegie Foundation recognized UH as a public research university with very high research activity. The department has embarked on an exciting period of research growth driven by committed leadership. Houston is a thriving city with an internationally diverse population, first-rate recreational opportunities, excellent schools, and affordable housing. The University of Houston, a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), is among the top 25 colleges and universities granting undergraduate and graduate degrees to Hispanics and among the top 50 for enrolling Hispanic graduates and undergraduates. Additionally, the University ranks among the top 25 institutions for full-time, four-year undergraduate and graduate enrollment. The University of Houston is an ADVANCE institution, one of a select group of universities funded by NSF in support of our commitment to increase diversity and the participation and advancement of women in STEM.

Stimulating research on the biological basis of aesthetics

%d bloggers like this: