PSYC 318
Image, Imaging, and Imagining: The Brain and Visual Arts Spring 2020
Division III
Cross-listed INTR 223 / PSYC 318

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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. Students will conduct an empirical laboratory project that will explore their own experimental question in response to the course material. The class will include field trips to local museums.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 3720
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a midterm, in class writing assignments, participation in class discussions, and a final project
Prerequisites: PSYC 101, an ARTH or ARTS course, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Studio Art majors; Psychology majors
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
INTR 223 Division III PSYC 318 Division III
Attributes: PSYC Area 1 - Behavioral Neuroscience

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