Category Archives: Books

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!

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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!

Call for proposals: Performing Psychologies

ESSAY COLLECTION CALL FOR PROPOSALS:

 Performing Psychologies: Minding The Remembered Present

(working title)

 

Edited by Pil Hansen, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary, CA (Dramaturgy and Cognitive Performance Studies) with Bettina Blaesing, Faculty of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Bielefeld University, GE (Neurocognition and Action – Biomechanics).

This book is the second of two Performing Psychologies volumes, the first of which is edited by Nicola Shaughnessy, University of Kent, UK (Theatre), with Philip Barnard, University of Cambridge, UK (Neuroscience) on the topic of imagination and other minds.

We invite proposals from scholars, researcher-practitioners, and scientists working between the performing arts and cognitive sciences on the subject of processes of memory in dance, theatre, or music performance.

The aim of this essay collection is twofold: (1) discuss how performing arts practices strategically target cognitive processes of human memory and (2) present insights into memory that derive from the study of such practices.

In recent years, a growing number of cognitive scientists study memory through experiments with performance subjects; at the same time, the number of artists that make use of cognitive memory studies and theory to develop creation approaches and lines of artistic inquiry is also increasing. A shift from a general understanding of memory as archived and retrievable information to a cognitive conception of long-term memory as a reconstructive process, involving our active engagement with our surroundings in the present, changes the possible avenues of working through memory in performance. In turn, cognitive scientists working with performing arts cases discover that performers’ advanced learning, memorization, and retrieval abilities depend on a complex combination of multisensory perceptions, articulations, and clues that question more classical concepts of memory. Scientists are motivated to advance the ability to study complex dynamics of artistic practice and artists are looking beyond broad concepts of intuition, presence, and cultural memory towards more detailed and precise cognitive understandings.

This volume will map, articulate, and support the continued realization of the possibilities identified by this rich field of reciprocal exchange between the performing arts and cognitive sciences. Contributors are encouraged to consider, but not be restricted by, the following topics when forming proposals:

  • Entrainment in performance as a source of joint/collective memory construction and retrieval
  • The role of trained, implicit memory in entrainment and improvisation
  • Performing arts training as a form of cross-modal perceptual specialization embedded in procedural and implicit memory
  • Performers’ stage presence as a mode of perceptual attention that prioritizes working memory processes
  • Expansion of working memory capacity through performing arts practices
  • Creative strategies and “impossible tasks” that aim to hinder reliance on implicit memory (skills and habits) in an attempt to create something new
  • The cognitive advantages of using marking and other forms of physicalized or sounded memory recall when reflecting upon compositional options
  • Creative approaches that make strategic use of declarative and explicit memory for memorization, to access source materials, or to activate performance tasks, rules, and structures.
  • Neuroplasticity and creative strategies for the adaptation of autobiographical memory
  • Performance as a mediator between cognitive processes of memory and external archives, records, and notations
  • Strategies for expanding, synchronizing, or hindering spectators’ processes of memory in ways that relate to the strategies used by performers

We welcome abstracts (400 – 500 words) on a broad range of approaches to these and related topics. Proposals are to be submitted by June 1st, 2015. First drafts will be due no later than October 1, 2015, and final versions of the chapters will be due on March 1st, 2016.

Note that priority will be given to proposals that either 1) are based on methodologically defined empirical cases, experiments, or practice-based research or 2) present hypothetical proposals that build on reviews of such studies. While selected authors will be invited to write in the language of their respective disciplines, some additional introduction of central concepts and presentation of research methods used will be requested in order to achieve interdisciplinary accessibility.

Please send submissions and questions to both Pil Hansen and Bettina Blaesing at:

pil.hansen@ucalgary.ca

bettina.blaesing@uni-bielefeld.de

Communicated by  Pil Hansen, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary

Honorary Adjunct Professor, Graduate Program in Dance, York University

Dramaturg, Acts of Memory / Vertical City / Kaeja d’Dance

Forthcoming: Art, Aesthetics and the Brain

Watch out for this new book, which will be released July this year: Huston, J. P.; Nadal, M.; Mora, F.; Agnati, L. F. & Cela-Conde, C. J. (Eds.) (2015). Art, Aesthetics and the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

oup cover

Description:

Humans have engaged in artistic and aesthetic activities since the appearance of our species. Our ancestors have decorated their bodies, tools, and utensils for over 100,000 years. The expression of meaning using color, line, sound, rhythm, or movement, among other means, constitutes a fundamental aspect of our species’ biological and cultural heritage. Art and aesthetics, therefore, contribute to our species identity and distinguish it from its living and extinct relatives.

Science is faced with the challenge of explaining the natural foundations of such a unique trait, and the way cultural processes nurture it into magnificent expressions, historically and ethnically unique. How does the human brain bring about these sorts of behaviors? What neural processes underlie the appreciation of painting, music, and dance? How does training modulate these processes? How are they impaired by brain lesions and neurodegenerative diseases? How did such neural underpinnings evolve? Are humans the only species capable of aesthetic appreciation, or are other species endowed with the rudiments of this capacity?

This volume brings together the work on such questions by leading experts in genetics, psychology, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, art history, and philosophy. It sets the stage for a cognitive neuroscience of art and aesthetics, understood in the broadest possible terms. With sections on visual art, dance, music, neuropsychology, and evolution, the breadth of this volume’s scope reflects the richness and variety of topics and methods currently used today by scientists to understand the way our brain endows us with the faculty to produce and appreciate art and aesthetics.

Contents:

Section One: Foundational Issues 

  1.  Neuroculture: A new cultural revolution?, Francisco Mora
  2. Art, meaning, and aesthetics: the case for a cognitive neuroscience of art, William P. Seeley
  3. States, people, and contexts: Three psychological challenges for the neuroscience of aesthetics, Kirill Fayn and Paul J. Silvia
  4. Aesthetic appreciation – convergence from experimental aesthetics and physiology, Helmut Leder, Gernot Gerger and David Brieber
  5. The moving eye of the beholder. Eye-tracking and the perception of paintings, Christoph Klein and Raphael Rosenberg

Section Two: Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Aesthetics and Art 

  1. Neural mechanisms for evaluating the attractiveness of faces, Spas Getov and Joel S. Winston
  2. Indeterminate art works and the human brain, Robert Pepperell and Alumit Ishai
  3. Contextual bias and insulation against bias during esthetic rating: the implication of VMPFC and DLPFC in neural valuation, Ulrich Kirk and David Freedberg
  4. Neuroimaging studies of making aesthetic products, Oshin Vartanian

Section Three: Cognitive Neuroscience of Dance 

  1. Beautiful embodiment: The shaping of aesthetic preference by personal experience, Emily S. Cross
  2. Sensorimotor aesthetics: Neural correlates of aesthetic perception of dance, Beatriz Calvo-Merino
  3. Towards ecological validity in empirical aesthetics of dance, Julia F. Christensen and Corinne Jola

Section Four: Cognitive Neuroscience of Music 

  1. Liking music: Genres, contextual factors, and individual differences, Kathleen A. Corrigall and E. Glenn Schellenberg
  2. Tension-resolution patterns as a key element of aesthetic experience: psychological principles and underlying brain mechanisms, Moritz Lehne and Stefan Koelsch
  3. From pleasure to liking and back: Bottom-up and top-down neural routes to the aesthetic enjoyment of music, Elvira Brattico
  4. Effects of expertise on the cognitive and neural processes involved in musical appreciation, Marcus T. Pearce

Section Five: Neuropsychology of Art and Aesthetics 

  1. The neuropsychology of visual art, Anjan Chatterjee
  2. The creation of art in the setting of dementia, Indre Viskontas and Suzee Lee
  3. Hemispheric specialization, art, and aesthetics, Dahlia W. Zaidel

Section Six: The Evolution of Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain 

  1. Towards a comparative approach to empirical aesthetics, Gesche Westphal-Fitch and W. Tecumseh Fitch
  2. Art and brain coevolution, Camilo J. Cela-Conde and Francisco J. Ayala
  3. Art as a human “instinct-like” behaviour emerging from the exaptation of the communication processes, Luigi F. Agnati, Diego Guidolin, and Kjell Fuxe

Section Seven: Integrative Approaches 

  1. Neurobiological foundations of art and aesthetics, Edmund T. Rolls
  2. Aesthetic evaluation of art: a formal approach, Alexander J. Huston and Joseph P. Huston
  3. Tempos of eternity: music, volition, and playing with time, Barbara G. Goodrich