Reductionism in Art and Brain Science

Author: Eric Kandel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231542081
Release Date: 2016-08-30
Genre: Science

Are art and science separated by an unbridgeable divide? Can they find common ground? In this new book, neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel, whose remarkable scientific career and deep interest in art give him a unique perspective, demonstrates how science can inform the way we experience a work of art and seek to understand its meaning. Kandel illustrates how reductionism—the distillation of larger scientific or aesthetic concepts into smaller, more tractable components—has been used by scientists and artists alike to pursue their respective truths. He draws on his Nobel Prize-winning work revealing the neurobiological underpinnings of learning and memory in sea slugs to shed light on the complex workings of the mental processes of higher animals. In Reductionism in Art and Brain Science, Kandel shows how this radically reductionist approach, applied to the most complex puzzle of our time—the brain—has been employed by modern artists who distill their subjective world into color, form, and light. Kandel demonstrates through bottom-up sensory and top-down cognitive functions how science can explore the complexities of human perception and help us to perceive, appreciate, and understand great works of art. At the heart of the book is an elegant elucidation of the contribution of reductionism to the evolution of modern art and its role in a monumental shift in artistic perspective. Reductionism steered the transition from figurative art to the first explorations of abstract art reflected in the works of Turner, Monet, Kandinsky, Schoenberg, and Mondrian. Kandel explains how, in the postwar era, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Louis, Turrell, and Flavin used a reductionist approach to arrive at their abstract expressionism and how Katz, Warhol, Close, and Sandback built upon the advances of the New York School to reimagine figurative and minimal art. Featuring captivating drawings of the brain alongside full-color reproductions of modern art masterpieces, this book draws out the common concerns of science and art and how they illuminate each other.

The Age of Insight

Author: Eric R. Kandel
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 9781400068715
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Psychology

A Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist and author of In Search of Memory documents the work of five leading minds including Sigmund Freud and Gustave Klimt in 1900 Vienna, revealing how their critical breakthroughs in science, medicine and art laid the groundwork for present-day discoveries in brain science.

The Disordered Mind

Author: Eric R. Kandel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374716103
Release Date: 2018-08-28
Genre: Science

Eric R. Kandel, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational research into memory storage in the brain, is one of the pioneers of modern brain science. His work continues to shape our understanding of how learning and memory work and to break down age-old barriers between the sciences and the arts. In his seminal new book, The Disordered Mind, Kandel draws on a lifetime of pathbreaking research and the work of many other leading neuroscientists to take us on an unusual tour of the brain. He confronts one of the most difficult questions we face: How does our mind, our individual sense of self, emerge from the physical matter of the brain? The brain’s 86 billion neurons communicate with one another through very precise connections. But sometimes those connections are disrupted. The brain processes that give rise to our mind can become disordered, resulting in diseases such as autism, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disruptions bring great suffering, they can also reveal the mysteries of how the brain produces our most fundamental experiences and capabilities—the very nature of what it means to be human. Studies of autism illuminate the neurological foundations of our social instincts; research into depression offers important insights on emotions and the integrity of the self; and paradigm-shifting work on addiction has led to a new understanding of the relationship between pleasure and willpower. By studying disruptions to typical brain functioning and exploring their potential treatments, we will deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behavior, memory, and creativity. Only then can we grapple with the big question of how billions of neurons generate consciousness itself.

Art and the Brain

Author: Amy Ione
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004322998
Release Date: 2016-10-10
Genre: Art

In her new book Art and the Brain: Plasticity, Embodiment and the Unclosed Circle, Amy Ione offers a profound assessment of our ever-evolving view of the biological brain as it pertains to embodied human experience.

The Aesthetic Brain

Author: Anjan Chatterjee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199811809
Release Date: 2013-12
Genre: Psychology

The Aesthetic Brain takes the reader on a wide-ranging journey addressing fundamental questions about aesthetics and art. Using neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Chatterjee shows how beauty, pleasure, and art are grounded biologically, and offers explanations for why beauty, pleasure, and art exist at all.

Eye and Brain

Author: Richard L. Gregory
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400866861
Release Date: 2015-02-17
Genre: Science

Since the publication of the first edition in 1966, Eye and Brain has established itself worldwide as an essential introduction to the basic phenomena of visual perception. Richard Gregory offers clear explanations of how we see brightness, movement, color, and objects, and he explores the phenomena of visual illusions to establish principles about how perception normally works and why it sometimes fails. Illusion continues to be a major theme in the book, which provides a comprehensive classification system. There are also sections on what babies see and how they learn to see, on motion perception, the relationship between vision and consciousness, and on the impact of new brain imaging techniques.

Art and the Brain

Author: Joseph Goguen
Publisher: Imprint Academic
ISBN: 0907845452
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Art

A three-volume series of the "Journal of Consciousness Studies", which asks if it is possible to take a natural science approach to art and uncover general laws of aesthetic experience, or is that taking reductionism too far?

How Art Works

Author: Ellen Winner
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780190863357
Release Date: 2018-11-05
Genre: Art

There is no end of talk and of wondering about 'art' and 'the arts.' This book examines a number of questions about the arts (broadly defined to include all of the arts). Some of these questions come from philosophy. Examples include: · What makes something art? · Can anything be art? · Do we experience "real" emotions from the arts? · Why do we seek out and even cherish sorrow and fear from art when we go out of our way to avoid these very emotions in real life? · How do we decide what is good art? Do aesthetic judgments have any objective truth value? · Why do we devalue fakes even if we -- indeed, even the experts--- can't tell them apart from originals? · Does fiction enhance our empathy and understanding of others? Is art-making therapeutic? Others are "common sense" questions that laypersons wonder about. Examples include: · Does learning to play music raise a child's IQ? · Is modern art something my kid could do? · Is talent a matter of nature or nurture? This book examines puzzles about the arts wherever their provenance - as long as there is empirical research using the methods of social science (interviews, experimentation, data collection, statistical analysis) that can shed light on these questions. The examined research reveals how ordinary people think about these questions, and why they think the way they do - an inquiry referred to as intuitive aesthetics. The book shows how psychological research on the arts has shed light on and often offered surprising answers to such questions.

Inner Vision

Author: Semir Zeki
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198505191
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Philosophy

Beautifully illustrated and vividly written, "Inner Vision" explores how different areas of the brain shape responses to visual arts. 84 color illustrations. 8 halftones. 30 line illustrations.

Experiencing Art

Author: Arthur Shimamura
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199791538
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Genre: Psychology

How do we appreciate a work of art? Why do we like some artworks but not others? Is there no accounting for taste? Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to explore connections between art, mind, and brain, Shimamura considers how we experience art. In a thoughtful and entertaining manner, the book explores how the brain interprets art by engaging our sensations, thoughts, and emotions. It describes interesting findings from psychological and brain sciences as a way to understand our aesthetic response to art. Beauty, disgust, surprise, anger, sadness, horror, and a myriad of other emotions can occur as we experience art. Some artworks may generate such feelings rather quickly, while others depend on thought and knowledge. Our response to art depends largely on what we know--from everyday knowledge about the world, from our cultural backgrounds, and from personal experience. Filled with artworks from many traditions and time points, "Experiencing Art" offers insightful ways of broadening one's approach and appreciation of art.

Psychiatry Psychoanalysis and the New Biology of Mind

Author: Eric R. Kandel
Publisher: American Psychiatric Pub
ISBN: 1585626848
Release Date: 2008-05-20
Genre: Medical

Brought together for the first time in a single volume, these eight important and fascinating essays by Nobel Prize-winning psychiatrist Eric Kandel provide a breakthrough perspective on how biology has influenced modern psychiatric thought. Complete with commentaries by experts in the field, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind reflects the author's evolving view of how biology has revolutionized psychiatry and psychology and how potentially could alter modern psychoanalytic thought. The author's unique perspective on both psychoanalysis and biological research has led to breakthroughs in our thinking about neurobiology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis -- all driven by the central idea that a fuller understanding of the biological processes of learning and memory can illuminate our understanding of behavior and its disorders. These wonderful essays cover the mechanisms of psychotherapy and medications, showing that both work at the same level of neural circuits and synapses, and the implications of neurobiological research for psychotherapy; the ability to detect functional changes in the brain after psychotherapy, which enables us, for the first time, to objectively evaluate the effects of psychotherapy on individual patients; the need for animal models of mental disorders; for example, learned fear, to show how molecules and cellular mechanisms for learning and memory can be combined in various ways to produce a range of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors; the unification of behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology into the new science of the mind, charted in two seminal reports on neurobiology and molecular biology given in 1983 and 2000; the critical role of synapses and synaptic strength in both short- and long-term learning; the biological and social implications of the mapping of the human genome for medicine in general and for psychiatry and mental health in particular; The author concludes by calling for a revolution in psychiatry, one that can use the power of biology and cognitive psychology to treat the many mentally ill persons who do not benefit from drug therapy. Fascinating reading for psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, social workers, residents in psychiatry, and trainees in psychoanalysis, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind records with elegant precision the monumental changes taking place in psychiatric thinking. It is an invaluable reference work and a treasured resource for thinking about the future.

Art Aesthetics and the Brain

Author: Joseph P. Huston
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199670000
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Aesthetics

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 extinctrelatives. This volume brings together the work on such questions by leading experts in genetics, psychology, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, art history, and philosophy. It sets the stagefor 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.

The Sense of Agency

Author: Patrick Haggard
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190267292
Release Date: 2015-08-27
Genre: Psychology

Agency has two meanings in psychology and neuroscience. It can refer to one's capacity to affect the world and act in line with one's goals and desires--this is the objective aspect of agency. But agency can also refer to the subjective experience of controlling one's actions, or how it feels to achieve one's goals or affect the world. This subjective aspect is known as the sense of agency, and it is an important part of what makes us human. Interest in the sense of agency has exploded since the early 2000s, largely because scientists have learned that it can be studied objectively through analyses of human judgment, behavior, and the brain. This book brings together some of the world's leading researchers to give structure to this nascent but rapidly growing field. The contributors address questions such as: What role does agency play in the sense of self? Is agency based on predicting outcomes of actions? And what are the links between agency and motivation? Recent work on the sense of agency has been markedly interdisciplinary. The chapters collected here combine ideas and methods from fields as diverse as engineering, psychology, neurology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind, making the book a valuable resource for any student or researcher interested in action, volition, and exploring how mind and brain are organized.

Cognitive Iconology

Author: Ian Verstegen
Publisher: Rodopi
ISBN: 9789401210706
Release Date: 2014-05-01
Genre: Art

Cognitive Iconology is a new theory of the relation of psychology to art. Instead of being an application of psychological principles, it is a methodologically aware account of psychology, art and the nature of explanation. Rather than fight over biology or culture, it shows how they must fit together. The term “cognitive iconology” is meant to mirror other disciplines like cognitive poetics and musicology but the fear that images must be somehow transparent to understanding is calmed by the stratified approach to explanation that is outlined. In the book, cognitive iconology is a theory of cognitive tendencies that contribute to but are not determinative of an artistic meaning. At the center of the book are three case studies: images depicted within images, basic corrections to architectural renderings in images, and murals and paintings seen from the side. In all cases, there is a primitive perceptual pull that contribute to but do not override larger cultural meaning. The book then moves beyond the confines of the image to behavior around the image, and then ends with the concluding question of why some images are harder to understand than others. Cognitive Iconology promises to be important because it moves beyond the turf battles typically fought in image studies. It argues for a sustainable practice of interpretation that can live with other disciplines. Ian Verstegen is an art writer and historian living in Philadelphia. He is the author of Arnheim, Gestalt and Art (2005) and A Realist Theory of Art History (2012).

In Search of Memory The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

Author: Eric R. Kandel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393070514
Release Date: 2007-03-17
Genre: Psychology

“A stunning book.”—Oliver Sacks Memory binds our mental life together. We are who we are in large part because of what we learn and remember. But how does the brain create memories? Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel intertwines the intellectual history of the powerful new science of the mind—a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology—with his own personal quest to understand memory. A deft mixture of memoir and history, modern biology and behavior, In Search of Memory brings readers from Kandel's childhood in Nazi-occupied Vienna to the forefront of one of the great scientific endeavors of the twentieth century: the search for the biological basis of memory.