Interdisciplinary Symposium

Cognitive NEurosciences and The Arts

Cognitive Neurosciences and The Arts:
Opening a Conversation

Co-organized by Alan Richardson (Boston College) and James Heffernan (Dartmouth College)

Minary Center, Monday, June 11 to Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Cognitive neuroscience and the study of the arts use remarkably different methodologies to pursue some of the same goals: the elucidation of the human mind, its workings, and the verbal and visual artifacts that it produces. Although a number of prominent neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists have shown a profound interest in the arts, and a growing number of humanistic scholars have begun to seriously engage with the theories, methods, and findings of cognitive science, the potential for productive dialogue and active collaboration has barely been tapped. What methodological, disciplinary, and institutional issues need to be broached in order to move beyond the "two cultures" impasse and facilitate cooperation and constructive mutual critique? These issues will be informally addressed by a group of researchers and scholars from both the arts and sciences over a two day period at the Minary Center in an atmosphere of challenge and a spirit of mutual respect.

More Details
List of Possible Discussion questions

This conference is sponsored by the Dartmouth Humanities Center, the Dartmouth Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Dartmouth Division of Social Sciences, and the Frederick Beebe Professorship in the Art of Writing.


From Dartmouth

Jamshed Bharucha, Prof. of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Jonathan Crewe, Prof. of English, Director, Leslie Humanities Center

Michael Gazzaniga, Prof. of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Director, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

James Hefferman, Prof. of English

From Other Institutions

Terence Deacon, Prof. of Anthropology, (Boston University), author of
The Symbolic Species

Ellen Esrock, Prof. of Literature, (Renssaeler Polytechnic Institute)

Donald Hoffman, Prof. of Cognitive Sciences (U of California, Irvine)

Patrick Colm Hogan, Prof. of English, (U of Connecticut), author of
Philosophical Approaches to Literary Theory

Alan Richardson, Prof. of English, (Boston College), author of
British Romanticism and the Science of the Mind

Elaine Scarry, Prof. of English, (Harvard),
author of
Dreaming by the Book

Mark Turner, Prof. of English, (U of Maryland), author of
The Literary Mind