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Module

PSY3008 : Art, Mind and Brain

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gabriele Jordan
  • Lecturer: Professor Anya Hurlbert, Dr Yoav Tadmor
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To familiarise students with the mechanisms and brain structures underpinning the creation, perception and appreciation of art, with an emphasis on visual art and artistic creativity.

To enhance knowledge of theoretical and practical research issues.

To provide opportunities to acquire in-depth knowledge about selected psychological processes relevant to the producing and appreciating works of art.

Outline Of Syllabus

We will explore a selection of the following topics during the course of the module:
•       What is art? What is the function of art? Do artists have special minds/brains?
•       Art and visual cognition. All art is in illusion: how do we interpret images on 2-D canvas? What are the differences/similarities between everyday perception and perception of art? Do artistic conventions tap into the workings of our visual system?
•       Art and edges. Why do people draw? Why are line drawings so effective? What can drawings tell us about ‘thinking’.
•       Art and the representation of space. How does pointillism work? How do artists induce the illusion of depth on 2-D canvas?
•       Art and colour. How has the use of colour changed through the eras and why? Why are certain colour combinations more effective and aesthetically pleasing than others?
•       Art and the damaged eye. Do visual impairments help or hinder the creation of visual art? Did myopia help to invent impressionism?
•       Art and the brain. Is art predominantly processed in the right hemisphere? Are there dedicated neural networks underlying the creation of art? What can we learn from patients with brain lesions? What can we learn from autistic savants?
•       Art and creativity. What is creativity? What are the underlying mechanisms of creativity? What is the link between mental disorders and creativity?
•       Art and synaesthesia. What is synaesthesia? What are its underlying mechanisms? What is the link to creativity?
•       Art and music. What is music? What is it for? What are the biological origins of music?


The module consists of two interlinked and equally important components: lecture-based structured materials and student-led activities. Lecture-based materials set the parameters of the course. Their primary purpose is to direct the students to the relevant reading and to sensitise them to the key points of the topic in question. Additional structured learning sessions are interactive and student-led. Opportunities are given to students to express their own ideas and to get involved in discussions and debates that could lead to further considerations.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable