Written by Ricardo Sanz   
Thursday, 06 November 2008

Neuroesthetics: When Art And The Brain Collide

ASLab was present in the ESF Exploratory workshop held in Milan, 23-26 September 2009.

Jaime Gómez presented the paper Mapping New Neural Pathways, written in conjunction with the curator Sarah Belden.

The term Neuroesthetics -the neuroscience of art and beauty- was coined by the neurobiologist Semir Zeki at University College London.

Neuroesthetics can be seen as a way of bridging that stubborn interdisciplinary gap between art and science; a recent scientific discipline that can help to finally dissolve the affected divide between C. P. Snow’s "two cultures."

Download the presentation here

Sarah Belden's art space website

Mapping New Neural Pathways


A growing contingent of neuroesthicists believe that the new powers to read, enhance and manipulate the brain will likely affect individuals and societies much sooner and more profoundly than even widely debated and controversial issues such as stem cell technology and cloning. The architecture and functioning of our brains and the governance of cognitive enhancement now marks a shift in the boundaries of state control, suggesting new modalities of power. New neural and mediated technologies are helping to shape the human brain in an ever-increasing capacity, and the brain itself is quickly becoming the center of debate for rapidly changing political, economic and ethical landscapes. We must therefore, understand the implications of this “neurotechnobiopower;” how it affects our sovereignty, and how it may contribute to creating a “society of control.” We must also take into consideration the counter role that cultural production and art may play in producing alternative forms of thinking within this discourse through the creation of new neural pathways within the human brain.

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 October 2009 )