Perspectives in Neuroaesthetics- CoBeNe Summer School 2018


What exactly the young scientific discipline of "neuroaesthetics" is about? As a part of an international summer school, a group of young students made their way to London to find out what neuroaesthetics is, learn more about this field from experts and get an insight to their work.

The Vienna Doctoral School in Cognition, Behaviour and Neuroscience (CoBeNe) organized a Summer School on Perspectives in Neuroaesthetics in London, UK in September 2018.
Organized by five CoBeNe PhD fellows (Patrick Markey, Jürgen Goller, and Eva Specker, all three from Psychology; Felix Haiduk from Cognitive Biology; and Jane Boddy from Art History), 20 participants met in the United Kingdom‘s capital for a week, in order to gain insight into the emerging field of Neuroaesthetics. The participants of the Summer School consisted of Master students, PhD students and Post-Docs who were truly international and interdisciplinary, altogether representing 16 different nationalities and 13 different scientific research fields. The program of the Summer School included visiting four different research laboratories devoted to scientifically investigating topics of Neuroaesthetics, getting direct hands-on experience with the methods and different research approaches used, as well as witnessing enlightening presentations by the experts and having lively scientific discussions with them. After an introductory session on the first day, including an overview of the history and concepts behind Neuroaesthetics, held by Marcos Nadal from the University of the Balearic Islands, the following days were spent visiting laboratories at four different renowned Universities in London: University College London, Goldsmiths, City, and School of Advanced Study. A wide range of topics and activities was covered, from philosophical underpinnings of Neuroaesthetics, the structure of sublime experiences, and synchronized brain activity in dance performances, to experiencing virtual reality environments in a research context, and participating in a multisensory wine tasting - to name just a few of the many highlights. Apart from getting direct theoretical and practical scientific input, the Summer School also was a great opportunity for networking and making new connections to peers, young researchers, potential future collaborators / employers.