Saturday, January 12, 2008


If you live in New York, there's an ongoing cultural festival with numerous events that combine art, music, psychology, and neuroscience:

BRAINWAVE asks how art, music, and meditation affect the brain and offers countless answers in more than a hundred public events, ranging from an exhibition of contemporary art and a cinema series to cutting-edge concerts, performances, talks, and panels.

This "only in New York" cultural festival is organized by six New York institutions: Rubin Museum of Art, Exit Art, Science & the Arts at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, The Philoctetes Center at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and the School of Visual Arts, in association with the Public Programs/American Museum of Natural History.

The festival runs from January to June, and here are only a few of the highlights:

BRAINWAVE: Common Senses
February 16-April 19, 2008
Exit Art

The group exhibition BrainWave: Common Senses responds to current neurological discourse by visualizing and investigating the brain’s capacity for perception, memory, emotion and logic—the forces that drive creativity. It brings together work by artists involved with research in cognition, artists that respond critically to the new technologies in neuroscience, and projects in which artists and scientists have collaborated to advance understanding of the mysteries of the brain.

Monday, March 24, 6:30 PM
Science & the Arts at CUNY

What is the explanation for our love of music, rhythm and dance? In this evening of erudition and performance, Columbia University neuroscientists Dave Sulzer (a.k.a. composer Dave Soldier) and John Krakauer will discuss the brain activity that makes us groove to the beat of music. Krakauer co-directs the Motor Performance Laboratory and Soldier investigates synaptic connections that underlie memory, learning and behavior. Featuring the premiere of Soldier’s "Quartet for percussion and brain waves," a live performance/experiment with drummers and electroencephalographs.

Optical Illusions and the Brain
School of Visual Arts
Tuesday, January 29, 6:30pm

Research scientist Susana Martinez-Conde discusses optical illusions and what they tell us about the brain. Her talk is informed by her research at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona and "The Magic of Consciousness," a symposium of leading neuroscientists and magicians at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. Presented by the BFA Fine Arts Department, SVA.
Plus these two events on the same day:
Secret Life of the Brain
Part IV: The Adult Brain
RMA Wednesday, January 30, 1 p.m.

The brain is the seat of both intellect and emotion, and this episode chronicles the critical balance between these processes and explores what happens when the balance is lost. Scientists draw insight from the stories of a stroke victim and a sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder, and break new ground in the struggle to understand and treat depression. Discussion moderator: Michael Shea, PhD.

Lou Reed: Hudson River Wind Meditations
RMA Wednesday, January 30, 7 p.m.

Lou Reed introduces his latest meditation compositions and discusses them with mind science scholar Rob Hogendoorn.

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