Launching an Exploration of the Brain, Architecture, Music and Art

How much do we know about what happens in our brain as we experience the world around us and how can we use that knowledge to impact our lives? Welcome to the place where we seek to find answers to those questions and where the arts and brain sciences intersect — the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM). The Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University (BSi) is pleased to announce its most recent initiative to bring together neuroscientists, physicians, artists, musicians and architects to examine how the brain responds to art, music, architecture — to the things that move us. The goal is to develop an understanding of, and ultimately improve on, how people live in the world.

How are we going to accomplish this daunting task?

IAM begins by sparking the conversation with researchers and artists and opening the dialogue about the neuro aesthetics field. Simply put, neuro aesthetics is the study of what is happening in the brain when we produce, engage in and appreciate the arts. Neuroscientist Semir Zeki at University College, London first coined the term in the 1990s. The research explores the neural processes underlying why we surround ourselves with things that move us. A major goal of IAM is to conduct primary research in the field, create learning opportunities and share this work with scholars, scientists, doctors, architects, artists and musicians spanning the arts and sciences who can apply the research in their fields to enhance lives through understanding, knowledge and action.

“BSi has launched IAM as part of its mission to solve fundamental questions about brain development and function and to use these insights to understand the mechanisms of the brain,” said Dr. Jeff Rothstein, Director of the Brain Science Institute. BSi brings together both basic and clinical neuroscientists from across the Johns Hopkins campuses and represents one of the largest and most diverse groups in the University.

The IAM Lab is being celebrated at the annual Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) conference in San Diego, CA focused on building the bridge between neuroscience research and a growing understanding of human responses.

“The field of neuro aesthetics, depending on your interest and how you enter it, can go from studying love to studying film and architecture,” explained Susan Magsamen, a senior adviser to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Brain Science Institute. “We are thrilled to announce the formation of and vision for IAM at the ANFA conference among the researchers, architects, and designers who are exploring the impact of neuroscience on the human responses to their environments.”

The IAM Lab will broaden the reach and awareness of neuro aesthetics and take it not only to scientists and artists but to the world and general public at large. We invite you to participate by returning to our site and providing feedback to us on what interests and moves you.

Learn more about the IAM Lab >

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