“The Aesthetic Brain” with Dr. Anjan Chatterjee

Join us as former Interact London speaker and UX Podcast guest, Dr. Anjan Chatterjee teaches us about the connection between neuroscience and experiences.

Event Details:

The Aesthetic Brain

In the 19th Century Gustav Fechner, the father of empirical aesthetics, had three fundamental insights relevant to contemporary neuroaesthetics. He realized that properties of the world were systematically related to properties of the mind.

Aesthetics could be an empirical science, or “an aesthetics from below.” Finally, in addition to outer psychophysics, he speculated that there had to be an inner psychophysics. In this talk, I will offer a framework from which neuroscientists might decompose aesthetic experiences and frame questions experimentally.

Fundamental to aesthetic experiences are the interactions between sensorimotor, emotional-valuation, and meaning knowledge systems. I will discuss findings from cognitive neuroscience that reveal neural structures and networks engaged in our response to beauty in other aesthetics encounters. Central to this enterprise is the goal of uncovering the biology of aesthetic experiences and how these experiences influence our interactions in the world.

About Dr. Anjan Chatterjee

Anjan Chatterjee is the Frank A. and Gwladys H. Elliott Professor and and Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital. He is a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BA in Philosophy from Haverford College, MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his neurology residency at the University of Chicago. His clinical practice focuses on patients with cognitive disorders.

His research addresses questions about spatial cognition and language,k attention, neuroethics, and neuroaesthetics. He wrote The Aesthetic Brain: How we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art and co-edited: Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, medicine, and society and The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: behavioral neurology and neuropsychology.

He is or has been on the editorial boards of: American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, Behavioural Neurology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Neuropsychology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, European Neurology, Empirical Studies of the Arts, The Open Ethics Journal and Policy Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology. He was awarded the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology by the American Academy of Neurology and the Rudolph Arnheim Price for contribution to Psychology and the Arts by the American Psychological Association.

About PhillyCHI

PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM SIGCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability, and other related disciplines. PhillyCHI holds monthly meetings and socials to network and discuss current topics in HCI.

Learn more at phillychi.org or follow along on Twitter @PhillyCHI.