The Center for Biomedical Informatics
State University of Campinas, Brazil

Research Abstract

Brain and the Visual Arts

Garcia-Cairasco, N.1; Coimbra, N.C.1; Cardoso, S.H2.; Sabbatini, R.M.E.2

1School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto of the University of São Paulo, and 2Center for Biomedical Informatics, State University of Campinas, Campinas/SP, Brazil

Human beings have always created symbolic representations when they pondered over their own brain structure and function. The history of neurosciences is basically a collection of diverse moments of the evolution of thoughts, models and theories about the brain, for example, from cardio-centric (Aristotles) to brain-centric (Plato, Galen) visions of brain controlling of body functions. Thanks to wonderful dissections, Vesalius and Albinus associated to artists Titian and Jan Wandelaar, respectively, produced magnificent works of universal anatomy and art such as Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543) and Tabula Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani (1747). In our digital era, models are made of 3-D reconstructions from MRI, microscopy and molecular techniques. However, it seems that recent Neuroscience progress has produced an enormous amount of information in need of synthesis (Neuroinformatics?), and additionally it has somehow hampered the Scientist-Artist coupling so elegantly found in the Renaissance (Da Vinci). Thus, it is our intention to discuss how the brain has been drawn by Visual Arts over the centuries and what it will be deserved for the future. In "The Brain and the Visual Arts" recently published in the Electronic Journal "Brain and Mind" we discussed those issues. Additionally, the Neuroscience Art Gallery in the same Journal, features 4 exhibits, among them Brainscapes and Behavior (NGC) and Neurons of Fear (NCC). Future trends are related to the mechanisms of the brain processes involved in aesthetical experiences and the brain control of the performance of art itself..

Supported by: FAPESP, CNPq, CAPES and PRONEX

Presented at:

Society of Neuroscience Annual Meeting, 2000.

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Last Updated:  6 October 2007