Fifth International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2010, August 1-6

Learning, Arts,
and the Brain

Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani

Abstract: Ed Connor
Johns Hopkins University – Mind, Brain Institute. USA

Neural basis of sculptural aesthetics
Why do people spend millions of dollars and years of work on monumental sculptures that have no practical function or utility? Because human visual experience is so rich that it has its own inherent value, which we call aesthetics. Great sculptors can evoke compelling visual experiences that justify the time and expense involved in their work. The power of such visual experiences must ultimately derive from visual representation systems of the brain. I will discuss how the brain represents 3D shape and how shape representation might relate to aesthetic experience.