Art: what could it do for our thinking brains? Café Psychologique 28 March

J. G. Sprurzheim, S, R. Wells, Education: Its Elementary Principles, Founded on the Nature of Man (1872)

What does Art mean to you? And what does it mean to your brain?

Recent studies in neuroscience are making claims that art can have an impact on our brain activity. Brain scans show that under the stimulus of an aesthetic experience, blood flow to the brain increases in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, a region associated with pleasure and desire. Other studies suggest that by studying works of art, our brains learn to perceive the world in a different way, or that art helps to trigger empathy within us by activating our mirror neurons. However fascinating these scientific accounts of a neuro-aesthetic disposition within us are, they do not necessarily tell us what we are thinking. They might offer us insights into the plays of cause and effect, stimulus and sensation, or show how synaptic regions of the brain change with the study of artistic forms, but they don’t really explain how we, ourselves, make sense of and ascribe value to our own aesthetic experiences.

This session invites you to share your experiences of art. What memories, stories, anecdotes – serious, funny, complex, simple – might you share? This could be an encounter with a painting or sculpture, a particular piece of music or poetry, an exhibition or performance? It may be a conversation you have had or overheard where a work of art is trying to be understood. It could be an inner dialogue between you and the nature of your experience. How might we begin to put into words the experiences of our own thinking about art?

This is not an academic event – this is all about sharing the stories and cultivating dialogues between us…

This café will be introduced by Dr Rowan Bailey, a senior lecturer in Art and a member of the Centre for Sculptural Thinking, University of Huddersfield. Join the conversation at Café Psychologique Leeds, on Tuesday 28 March, 8.00 pm to 9.45 pm in Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds. The Café costs £4 on the door.

There is a poster to download here:
Café Psychologique March 2017

You can join in the conversation online on our Facebook page: Café Psychologique

You can read the Café Rules here: Café Psychologique Rules