Imagination and the science of the mind

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In a groundbreaking new book, “The Neural Imagination” (2009, University of Texas Press), Irving Massey explores the relevance of neuroscience to the study of the arts.

Subtitled “Aesthetic and Neuroscientific Approaches to the Arts,” the book is concerned with the emergence and significance of neuroaesthetics, an alliance born of the recent and rapid convergence of art and technology.

“I undertook to write the book,” says Massey, professor emeritus of English and comparative literature, “to allay fears in artists and audiences alike that brain science, in its ability to cite parts of the brain excited by dissonance, for instance, or to describe novelty in terms of neural trauma, may ‘explain away’ the arts.”

Massey, also adjunct professor emeritus of French, is the author of 10 books and scores of articles and reviews in which he often has employed brain science to explore the work of specific artists.

Read more here.

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