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Image, Imaging, and Imagining: The Brain and Visual Arts
/ PSYC 318
This course will study the intersections of neuroscience and art. The brain interprets the visual world and generates cognitive and emotional responses to what the eyes see. It is also responsible for creating mental images and then directing the artist¿s motor output. We will first examine the neural mechanisms of how we perceive what we see. We will investigate how visual artists have used or challenged perceptual cues in their work. Understanding how the brain perceives faces will be used to analyze portraiture. We will consider the influence of neurological and psychological disorders on artistic work. We will examine neuroimaging studies questioning whether the brains of visual artists are specialized differently from non-artists. Finally, we will explore how contemporary artists are using brain images in their artwork, and how ¿outsider¿ artists have portrayed brain syndromes and mental states. The class will include field trips to local museums.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
a midterm, in class writing assignments, participation in class discussions, and a final project
PSYC 101 and an ARTH or ARTS course, or permission of instructor
Studio Art majors; Psychology majors
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSYC Area 1 - Behavioral Neuroscience