NYU, Columbia to Host Symposium on Neuroscience, Aesthetics, and Creativity—Feb. 6 & 7


NYU and Columbia will host a two-day symposium that explores how neuroscience underpins aesthetics and creativity on Thurs., Feb. 6 and Fri., Feb. 7.

New York University and Columbia University will host a two-day symposium that explores how neuroscience underpins aesthetics and creativity on Thurs., Feb. 6 and Fri., Feb. 7.

The symposium, “The Default Mode Network in Aesthetics and Creativity,” will begin on Feb. 6 at NYU with a keynote address by Marcus Raichle, a neurologist at Washington University in St. Louis’ School of Medicine (5:30 p.m., Silver Center for Arts and Science, 31 Washington Place [between Greene St. and Washington Sq. East]).

It will continue on Feb. 7 with a day-long symposium at Columbia University’s Italian Academy (8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 1161 Amsterdam Avenue [between 116th and 118th Streets]). Speakers include: Randy Buckner (Harvard University); Felicity Callard (Durham University); Maurizio Corbetta (Washington University in St. Louis’ School of Medicine); Rex Jung (University of New Mexico); Bill Kelley (Dartmouth College); Daniel Margulies (Max Planck Institute, Leipzig); Yvette Sheline (University of Pennsylvania); Nathan Spreng (Cornell University); and Ed Vessel (NYU).

The brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN) has been hypothesized to generate spontaneous thoughts during daydreaming and may be crucial for creativity, social neuroscience work, and understanding many neurological disorders. During the two-day event, these leading neuroscientists discuss what this part of the brain is doing when in a wakeful, resting state.

Topics of discussion include the discovery and metabolic characterization of the DMN, the relationship and functional dynamics between the DMN and other networks that are identifiable through resting-state functional connectivity, task-based studies that have helped to characterize the involvement of sub-networks of the DMN in a variety of functions, the relevance of DMN function for a variety of disease states, and social neuroscience work that has investigated the role of the DMN in “self-versus-other” distinctions.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but space is limited. For a complete schedule and to register, click here. For more information, please call 212.992.9817.

The symposium, co-sponsored by Columbia’s Italian Academy and NYU’s College of Arts and Science, is organized by David Freedberg, director of the Italian Academy, G. Gabrielle Starr, Seryl Kushner Dean of NYU’s College of Arts and Science and a professor of English, and Vessel, an assistant research scientist at NYU’s Center for Brain Imaging.

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