New book out: An Introduction to Neuroaesthetics

Lauring, J. O. (Ed.) (2014). An introduction to neuroaesthetics: The neuroscientific approach to aesthetic experience, artistic creativity, and arts appreciation. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.


From the publisher: “With this volume, Jon O. Lauring offers a cutting-edge introduction to the emerging field of neuroaesthetics. Gathering works from leading scholars all across the globe, he surveys the many ways we have taken what we have learned about our brains and nervous system and applied it to new understandings of art, beauty, and creativity.

The contributors explore the biological underpinnings of aesthetic experience from a variety of angles. Opening with a look at neuroaesthetics’s historical antecedents and an outline of methods and theories, the book goes on to address a fascinating assortment of studies on biological stimuli and art, from faces and landscapes to literature and film, from places and architecture to music and dance. Simultaneously exploring data from the latest brain-imaging technology and addressing some of our most enduring philosophical quandaries, this volume offers a comprehensive look at a pivotal moment in aesthetics, which grows richer every day with new questions”.



1. A History for Neuroaesthetics (Marcos Nadal, Antoni Gomila, and Alejandro Gàlvez-Pol)

2. Experimental Aesthetics (Helmut Leder and Pablo P. L. Tinio)

3. The Theoretical and Methodological Backdrop of Neuroaesthetics (Jon O. Lauring)

4. Visual Art (Jon O. Lauring)

5. Seeing Faces in the Brain (Alumit Ishai)

6. Environmental Neuroaesthetics, Places, and Architecture (Nicolai Rostrup)

7. The Musical Brain (Jens Hjortkjær)

8. Literary Reading (David S. Miall)

9. Film, Neuroaesthetics, and Empathy (Torben Grodal and Mette Kramer)

10. Neuroaesthetics and Dance (Beatriz Calvo-Merino and Julia F. Christensen)

11. Neuropsychology of the Arts (Bartlomiej Piechowski-Jozwiak and Julien Bogousslavsky)

12. Generating Aesthetic Products in the Scanner: fMRI Studies of Drawing, Story Writing, and Jazz Improvisation (Oshin Vartanian)




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

Call for Papers for the Edited Volume Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind

With the purpose of evaluating, exploring and putting into focus the impact of the embodied mind thesis on aesthetics as well as its breadth and relevance for the field, Alfonsina Scarinzi and colleagues are creating an edited volume with the title Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind. 

They are seeking contributions which are firmly based on the embodied mind thesis and use it as a framework for investigating the role of aesthetics in the study of how humans make and experience meaning. Papers from neuroaesthetics, empirical aesthetics, computational aesthetics and psychology of aesthetics as well as from literary aesthetics and pragmatist aesthetics are welcome.

The language of the proposed publication is English. Prospective contributors are invited to send their initial proposals (500 words abstract) by March 15, 2012 to the following email address: The invited essays (7500 words) are to be submitted by January 14, 2013.

This is just a snippet of the call for papers. Read the complete version here.