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 …