The Smart Set of Drexel University (why didn’t we know about this site before?!) has a fascinating piece about the research version of Oliver Sacks – V. S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UCSD – and his book, The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human. Ramachandran looks to the neuroscientific sources for the human creation of art and searches to define our consciousness and ourselves.
Theories of art have proliferated for as long as we’ve had philosophy and theory. All of them have tried, in one way or another, to elucidate general principles. The problem, as Ramachandran understands it, is that we simply haven’t known enough about how the brain operates. Now, he says, that situation has finally changed. He claims specifically that, “our knowledge of human vision and of the brain is now sophisticated enough that we can speculate intelligently on the neural basis of art and maybe begin to construct a scientific theory of artistic experience.”
Image: Book House (h/t RP)