The Unification of the Arts: Neurocognitive Perspectives on What the Arts Share and Why

Steven Brown has organized a one-day conference will explore the underlying similarities and differences among the arts, both at the cognitive and neural levels. Such factors permit syntheses of the arts, such as dancing to music, singing words, streaming background music in a movie, or blending sounds and visual elements in multimedia forms. By understanding how artforms are able to combine, we can aspire towards a unification of the arts.

Conference date: Friday, May 11, 2018

Time: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Place: Council Chambers, Gilmour Hall; McMaster University; Hamilton, Ontario


  • Ellen Dissanayake (University of Washington): origins of the arts
  • Raymond Mar (York University): literature/theatre
  • Oshin Vartanian (University of Toronto): the visual arts/architecture
  • Krista Hyde (University of Montreal): music
  • Steven Brown (McMaster University): dance
  • Anjan Chatterjee (University of Pennsylvania): aesthetics
  • Aaron Kozbelt (Brooklyn College, City University of New York): creativity

Organizer: Steven Brown (McMaster University)

Poster session: People are encouraged to present research findings related to cognitive and/or neural aspects of any branch of the arts at a poster session taking place during the lunch break. Abstracts should be submitted by April 20 to Matthew Berry at

Registration cost: $80 ($50 for enrolled students). This includes lunch.

To register for the conference or for more information, please visit:


CALL FOR PAPERS from The International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature

 CALL FOR PAPERS, IGEL Stavanger (NO), July 25-28, 2018 

The International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL) invites submissions to the 2018 biennial conference across all areas of the empirical study of literature and media, including but not limited to, cognitive processing of literature, literature/media and culture, neuroscience and literature, literary reception, reading and emotion, historical study of literature, and corpus analysis of literature.

Check out all the information here


 Additional Information :

The official website of IGEL:

The IGEL 2018 conference website:

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!