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Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society

The Cognitive Neuroscience Society is holding its 22nd Annual Meeting in San Francisco on March 28-31, 2015. There is a full schedule of events, including Invited Symposia, Mini Symposia, Poster Sessions, as well as several award presentations. For those of us interested in neuroaesthetics, this year’s Keynote speaker is Anjan Chatterjee, who will be delivering a talk on “The neuroscience of aesthetics and art”. Save the date: Saturday, March 28, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 pm. It’s open to the public!

Keynote abstract

What can neuroscience possibly tell us about aesthetics and art? In this talk, I will offer a framework from which a neuroscientist might decompose aesthetic experiences. I will discuss findings from neurology and cognitive neuroscience that reveal neural structures and networks engaged when we respond to beauty and react to art. I will consider the uneasy relationship between scientific aesthetics and the humanities, dispel some critiques, and acknowledge specific limitations of neuroaesthetics. Finally, informed by our understanding of the neural underpinnings of art, I will speculate about its evolution. Previous debates about whether art-making and appreciation represent an instinct or an epiphenomenon of other evolved capacities are probably not well-framed. I offer a third way to think about why we are now – and perhaps have always been – surrounded by these mysterious objects that we call art.

How variable, stable, or universal are aesthetic preferences?

There is a new call for abstracts/papers for a Research Topic in the journal Frontiers in Human NeuroscienceHow variable, stable, or universal are aesthetic preferences? Editors are Daniel J Graham, Christoph Redies, and Edward A Vessel, and the deadlines are July 1st 2015 for the abstracts, and November 1st 2015 for the papers.

From the Research Topic description:

“this Research Topic poses a variety of questions: How much of aesthetics and/or art appreciation is common or stable in humans, and how much is variable, both between persons and across an individual’s lifetime? What is the effect of short-term influences (e.g. mere exposure effects vs. habituation effects, adaptation)? How do factors of individual taste, common patterns of preference, and stability interact? How universal are brain responses to aesthetic objects between individuals and for different categories of aesthetic stimuli? What is the role of non-aesthetic factors (development, personality, emotion, creativity, intelligence, etc.), as well as the role of properties inherent in aesthetic objects?

We welcome experimental and theoretical contributions from all fields that address these and related questions. Possible methodologies could include, but are not limited to, brain imaging, behavioral tests, psychophysics, and computational approaches.”

Get all the information here …

2nd Conference on Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind

Call for Papers


Pragmatist and embodied approaches to aesthetics consider aesthetics to be the study of everything that goes into the human capacity to make and experience the bodily pre-linguistic cognitive, emotional and sensory-perceptual conditions of meaning constitution having its origins in the organic activities of living creatures and in their organism-environment transactions.

The 2nd conference on “Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind” aims at highlighting the role of the interdependent relation between emotion and cognition in the bodily mediated pre-linguistic meaning constitution in aesthetic experience and perception. It aims at doing this from an anti-dualistic point of view.

The rejection of the mind-body dualism and of the representationalist approaches to human cognition has led to recast the theoretical tenets of the relation between cognition and emotion in the process of meaning generation. It has contributed to the development of a truly enactive approach to emotions. The enactive approach to emotions has emphasized that cognition and emotions are embodied and interdependent. Accordingly, bodily events are constitutive of appraisal, both structurally and phenomenologically. Arousal needs no appraisal to be interpreted by the subject, for cognitive and emotional processes are simultaneously constrained by the global form produced by their coupling in a process of circular causality. Therefore, the emotional interpretation of a lived situation is a global state of emotion-cognition coherence. It comprises an appraisal of a situation, an affective tone, and an action plan. Emotions such as fear, joy, happiness are bodily mediated cognitive-emotional evaluations of the bodily sense-making of an adaptation to environmental factors the organism interacts with in the environment and of their viability. They allow to subjectively feel the cognitive-emotional qualitative dimension of the degree of value of our interaction with different environmental factors through the aroused lived body.

The submission of contributions that highlight the interdependent relation between emotion and cognition and the global state of emotion-cognition coherence (appraisal of a situation, an affective tone, and an action plan) in bodily sense-making in aesthetic experience and in the perception of the environment is encouraged.

The conference welcomes contributions from the following disciplines: Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of emotion, Literary studies, Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience, Developmental psychology, Aesthetics, Psychology of aesthetics.

When?: 24th August 2015 – full day

Where?: Birkbeck College London, UK

Languages: English, though a workshop in German will be organized as a parallel workshop. So you can send your abstract in German, too.

Deadline for abstract submission: 25th March 2015

Please send your abstract (max. 300 words) not later than 25th March 2015 to

For all the information, please visit: enactiveaesthetics

Communicated by Alfonsina Scarinzi