Call for papers: Research Topic for Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

There is new call for papers for a Research Topic for the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience on Neuroaesthetics.

Get all the information here.

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 31 October 2014.
  • Deadline for full article submission: 31 March 2015.

Note that the journal’s publishing fees are reduced when the paper is part of a Research Topic.

Text of the call for papers:

GT Fechner

There is general consensus that the publication of Gustav Theodor Fechner’s (1876) Vorschule der Aesthetik marks the birth of the field of psychological aesthetics. As a psychophysicist, Fechner worked under the assumption that there is a correspondence between the physical properties of stimuli and the sensations that they cause. Of course, at the time of Fechner’s writings there was no possibility to observe the neural processes that mediate the hypothesized relationship between variations in the physical properties of stimuli and their psychological consequences (e.g., sensations). Nevertheless, he distinguished between outer psychophysics which involves the relationship between variations in the physical properties of stimuli and the sensations that they cause, and inner psychophysics which involves the relationship between those sensations and the neural activities that underlie them. In this sense, he was truly ahead of his time by anticipating one of the main goals of the modern neuroscience of aesthetics, which is to establish correspondences between neural function and perceptual, cognitive and affective processes that make up aesthetic experience. Arguably, the cognitive neuroscience of aesthetics is properly viewed as a natural extension of Fechner’s empirical goal to understand the interaction between the object’s features and the subject’s active engagement with the world that lies at the core of aesthetic experience.

Having said this, the relevant empirical scope, limits, and prospects of the cognitive neuroscience of aesthetics are hotly debated. In large measure this is due to disagreements about the nature of aesthetic experience. Should the field focus on studying the contribution of general-purpose perceptual, reward, memory, and decision-making mechanisms to aesthetic experience, or should it focus on isolating only those mechanisms that contribute to strong feelings of awe? Do aesthetic emotions differ from common emotions, and if so, what are the biological concomitants of this difference? How did aesthetic behavior evolve? Given the strong historical association of the concepts of beauty and art with aesthetics, should the study of how artifacts evoke a sense of beauty hold a privileged position in the field? To what extent is the search for a “beauty module” central to the aims of the field? What are some of the social and contextual contributors to aesthetic experience that might elude neuroscientific approaches? Can the role of personal and cultural significance in aesthetic experience be understood at a biological level? We welcome contributions that will serve to sharpen our understanding of neuroaesthetics with respect to the aforementioned questions. We look forward to receiving empirical manuscripts that contain behavioural, neuropsychological, brain stimulation, evolutionary and brain imaging data. We also encourage the submission of critical reviews of the field, manuscripts focusing on methodology, and opinion papers that raise foundational concerns to stimulate renewed thinking about the aims of the field. Given the central role played by aesthetic considerations in a host of important life decisions, it is our hope that this collection of papers will further energize the field by motivating new ways of searching for its bases.

Le sensible a l’oeuvre : The body between aesthetics and neurosciences

 Interdisciplinary Colloquium


CRAL/CEHTA/EHESS – 15 May 2014 – at the INHA Auditorium, Paris

The interdisciplinary colloquium Le sensible à l’oeuvre: the body between aesthetics and neurosciences aims to examine the stakes and perspectives of the research projects often grouped under the label “neuroaesthetics,” and to explore the main questions and debates arisen by them.

More information here.



Painting, Facture and Emotion

One day International Workshop of the French National Research Agency (ANR) Project « Visual Art and Emotion » (2010-2014)

Tuesday 20 May : 9h-19h Collège de France 3 rue d’Ulm Paris

Organizer: Jérôme Pelletier (P.I project « Visual Art and Emotion », University of Brest and  Institut Jean-Nicod,

Language: English | Free Admission | No Registration Required


9h Jérôme Pelletier: Introduction

9h20 Stéphanie Dubal  & José Luis Ulloa Fulgeri  (Projet « Visual Art and Emotion », Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab (SAN), Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epiniere (ICM)): “Using visuomotor priming to investigate aesthetic experience

10h 20 Georges Roque (History and theory of visual arts, CRAL,  EHESS): “Neo-impressionism Art and Technique; its Relationship to ‘Faktura‘”

11h20 Pause

11h 40 Alain Berthoz (Neuroscience, Collège de France): “Emotional sharing with the artwork: gesture, gaze, empathy

12h40-14h  Lunch

14h Gregory Currie (Philosophy, University of York, Directeur d’études invité EHESS): “Marks on images in painting, photography and cinematography

15h David Davies (Philosophy, McGill University): “Evidence of facture and the appreciative relevance of artistic activity

16h Pause

16h20 Yolaine Escande (Project « Visual Art and Emotion», Chinese theory of arts, CRAL, CNRS): “Emotion and Brushstroke in Modern Chinese Aesthetics and Theory of Arts

17h20 Dominic Lopes (Philosophy, University of British Columbia): “Implicit Multimodal Aesthetic Experience

18h20 Stéphanie Dubal, Yolaine Escande and Jérôme PelletierGeneral Discussion and Concluding Remarks

Stimulating research on the biological basis of aesthetics

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