Honors | Art & Cognition
H205 | 27739 | Jonathan Weinberg

Visual perception & the graphic arts: how does the brain take an
array of photons bouncing off a canvas and turn it into a picture --
or a moving picture?  How do artists & filmmakers exploit the way
our vision works in order to achieve various aesthetic effects?
Imagination, fiction, and other minds: Can theories about how we
understand other people's mental states & emotions shed light on
what we do when we read a novel?  Or, moreover, can our
psychological engagements with works of fiction help us decide
between different theories about understanding other minds?
Music, concepts, & ineffability: How can it be that our ability to
perceive & understand the nuances of music so vastly exceeds our
capacity to express in words what we are hearing in the music?  Does
this indicate that musical cognition is fundamentally different than
verbal cognition, perhaps radically non-conceptual?  Can psychology
help us settle the question of whether a work of pure music can have
any representational content?

Prof. Weinberg will be happy to tailor some elements of the course
to the particular scientific & artistic background and interests of
the members of the course.

Members of the course, in addition to an in-class midterm, will
produce weekly short 'reflection' papers, and create a final
creative project that will apply cognitive science theory to an
artistic endeavor and/or use an example of the arts as data for
cognitive science.