Wesleyan faculty and students participated in the "(Your) Brain on Culture Workshop on Neuroscience and the Humanities" Sept. 23. The workshop provided an introduction to the principles and scientific status of contemporary cognitive neuroscience and an exploration of several theory models for neuro approaches to the humanities.
Matthew Kurtz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, speaks on "Neuroscience: First Principles and Mechanisms of Interaction with Culture" during the workshop. At Wesleyan, Kurtz developed programs designed to chromate change in brain function. "These cognitive exercises are carefully titrated for task difficulty to, presumably, engage underfunctioning neural systems for promotion of neural reorganization," he explained.
Jan Slaby, a professor of philosophy from Free University in Berlin, Germany, discussed a proposal for Critical Neuroscience, a project that is attempting to look at the achievements and potential of neuroscience from a multidisciplinary perceptive.
David Sweeney Coombs, an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Humanities, introduced the guest speakers.
Seated in foreground, Jonathan Kramnick, a professor of English at Rutgers University, spoke on "Neuroaesthetics: Prospects and Problems" during the workshop.