A Meeting of Mind: Neuroscience, Art & the Creative Process

By hosting an interdisciplinary public conversation over the relationship between neuroscience and artistic endeavors, Nobel laureate Eric Kandel seeks a fuller understanding of human behavior. 

What's the Latest Development?

New efforts are being made to reconcile neuroscience with the arts and humanities, a process which is throwing further light on the fact that our brain works in a very creative way simply viewing a piece of art. Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, who works with Columbia University's Mind Brain Behavior Initiative said: "When you look at a work of art, you’re undergoing the creative challenge that the artist undergoes in making the picture. It’s of a lesser magnitude, but the information coming in through the eyes is incomplete, and you have to fill it in with built-in rules of what is possible in the world combined with previous experiences that allow you to situate this correctly."

What's the Big Idea?

As neuroscience constitutes a fresh way of understanding and explaining human behavior, it already touches virtually every academic discipline, from art history to politics. Kandel, who was born in Vienna and is fascinated with the city which existed before the outbreak of World War I, believes that an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the mind will help produce the same creative boom which emerged from Vienna's salons, where physicians, psychologists (including Frued) and artists (like Klimt) met to discuss the revelations of the day. Kandel, a proponent of the public intellectual, believes a public discussion of scientific and artistic matters is essential for a well-functioning democracy. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

Many governments do not report, or misreport, the numbers of refugees who enter their country.

David McNew/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Conflict, violence, persecution and human rights violations led to a record high of 70.8 million people being displaced by the end of 2018.

Keep reading Show less

Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
Keep reading Show less

Bernie Sanders' student debt plan bails out the rich

Bernie Sanders reveals an even bigger plan than Elizabeth Warren, but does it go too far?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bernie Sanders has released a plan to forgive all the student debt in the country.
  • It is even larger than the plan Elizabeth Warren put forward two months ago.
  • The plan has drawn criticism for forgiving the debt of both the poor and those well off enough to pay their own debt.
Keep reading Show less