Georgia Tech Neuro Humanities Entanglement Conference and Neuro Salon

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Free and open to the public, no registration required. View this event on Meetup.com

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Parking for the Salon is in the lower level of Peters Parking Deck – open after 5 pm. Parking for the conference is Centergy Parking Deck, $2 per hour or $10 per day. 

Continuing the Salon tradition at Georgia Tech, this event highlights encounters among cognitive science, neuroscience, biological sciences, and engineering with the humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

Emerging research in the brain sciences has set into motion fundamental questions relating to social, political, aesthetic, and scientific discoveries. This is an exciting research moment because it opens the opportunity for crafting theoretical and practical convergences between major issues that have long bedeviled the Liberal Arts with those arising in the Neurosciences. For example: what does it take to persuade—to move people from one position to another, or to get them to care about an event that never before stirred their interest? The old rhetorical and sociological conundrum of how one spurs a critical mass of people to alter their vision of themselves as individuals is now entangled with neural circuitry, empathetic processing, and legal disputes over conscious actions. Cognition, in short, has been brought into the heart of everyday life. Such new and unusual types of cross-disciplinary engagement offer a bold opportunity to rethink our educational programs and institutions in light of major research initiatives held in common.

To help foster, as well as model, these new kinds of humanities/neurosciences engagements, we are organizing a two-day conference at the Georgia Institute of Technology [Spring 2012] to explore the current state of neuroscience/humanities interactions. The purpose of the conference is to highlight the exciting encounters among cognitive science, neuroscience, biological sciences and engineering with the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts at the level of key issues we both share.

Topics include: Self-assembling the Self, Mirroring and Social Cognition, Literature and the New Sciences of Human Nature, Hallucinogenics and the Visionary, Brain Imaging and Non-Discursive Media, The Digital Business of  Memory, Attention and Its Disorders, Experience -Driven Media and Devices, Neurophilosopy and the New Spirituality.

A Neuro-Salon, held in conjunction and amplifying the message of the conference by making the conceptual collaborations visible in material objects, is also planned. This second Salon would further the thrust to establish a permanent temporary exhibition space at Georgia Tech that we initiated last year [2010/11] with the inaugural Salon for Vision. It is hoped these thought-provoking installations will stand at the beginning of a series of interdisciplinary Salons demonstrating the creative and innovative art-science-engineering-technology intersections uniquely possible at Georgia Tech--to broad communities both inside and outside of Georgia Tech.

See images from 2011 Salon for Vision: I Imagine, I See, I Make

Neuro Salon: Consider Attention  

Opening Night April 11, 2012
7 pm to 9:30 pm

Stubbins Studio Gallery, Georgia Tech College of Architecture
Light refreshments will be served
245 Fourth St. NW, Atlanta 
Open through April 28, 2012 

7:00 pm - Music performance by the band Qurious

7:30 pm - Reading from the novel, The Tantalus Letters, by Laura Otis (Emory University)

7:45 pm - This Shared Dream: A Reading from a Novel about Neuroplasticity, Memory, and Time, by Kathleen Ann Goonan (writer and Georgia Tech Visiting Professor)

Tour and Q&A with Neuro Salon artists.

Projects on Display at the Neuro-Salon:

  • Animapping by Ali Mazalek, Claudia Rebola, Paul Clifton, Scott Hoag, Andy Wu, Jason Clark, Chelsea McClinton, Sarah Nelson, Vivek Sangubhotla (Georgia Tech)
  • Hippocampal Memory by Audrius Plioplys
  • Crystal Palace - Emergent Formations by Daniel Baerlecken, Gernot Riether, Aaron Coffman, Almir Divanovic, Daniel Dixon, Emilio Hernandez, Azzam Issa, Cole Loomis
  • Julie by David Bashwiner
  • Incline by Frederick Pearsall and Matthew Swarts
  • A Fraction Away from Understanding - Aude Sapere by Harris Dimitropoulis
  • Vibrating Glove by Jun Ueda
  • A Camera Obscura Installation by James Murray, Patrick Di Rito, and Shota Vashakmadze
  • Consider Attention, salon brochure by Sonit Bafna 

Neuro-Humanities Conference

Thursday April 12, 2012
TSRB auditorium 125 (Tech Square)

9:00 am - Opening Remarks: Jacqueline J. Royster (Dean, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts), Kenneth J. Knoespel (McEverProfessor of Engineering and Liberal Arts), Barbara Maria Stafford (Visiting Professor, Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, College of Engineering)

9:30 am - Introduction: Carol Colatrella (Georgia Tech School of Literature, Communication, and Culture)

10:00 am - "How Religions Engage our Mental Machinery," Robert McCauley (Director, Emory University Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture)

10:30 am - "Clinical Models of Spirituality: Their Perils and Promise," Anne Benvenuti (Zygon Center for Religion and Science) and Elizabeth Davenport (University of Chicago)

Discussion and Break

1:00 pm - Panel: "Memory, Psychology, and Fiction" with Lisa Yazek, Laura Otis, Patricia Bauer, and Audrius Plioplys, and commentary by Noelle Batt (L'Universite Paris VIII) 

2:00 pm - introduction by Jason Freeman (Georgia Tech School of Music and Center for Music Technology)

 "Neural Loci of Sensory Illusions: How We Interpret Art and Music," Ari Rosenberg (Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis)

"Musical Manipulation in Film: A Theory of Mechanism," David Bashwiner (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque)

Discussion and Break

4:00 pm - "An Illustrated Conversation: Visual Thinking in Autism, Art, and Creativity," Ashok Goel (Georgia Tech Cognition and Creativity Research Group), Maithilee Kunda, Keith McGreggor, Agata Rozga, Terri Dilling (Atlanta Printmakers Studio), and Steve Everett (Composer and Professor of Music, Emory University)

5:00 pm - Visit to Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI), tour and talk by Interim CABI Director Dr. Randall W. Engle (Attention and Memory Lab)

Break and Dinner

Friday, April 13, 2012
TSRB auditorium 125 (Tech Square) 

9:30 am - introduction by Kathleen Goonan (writer and Georgia Tech Visiting Professor)

"Cognitive Creative Work of Psychedelic Visions," Frank Echenhofer (California Institute of Integral Studies)


11:00 am - introduction by Michael Nitshe (Georgia Tech School of Literature, Communication, and Culture)

Lecture and mise-en-scene: "Cognition and Agency in Stephane Mallarme's Staging of the Book," Anna Arnar (Minnesota State University)

Discussion: "Mallarme and the Capabilities of the Book," Yves Abrioux (Professor of English Literature, L'Universite Paris VIII)


1:00 pm - introduction by George Johnston, AIA (Chair, Georgia Tech School of Architecture)

"Theory and Design in the Age of Biology: A New Foundation for Architectural Theory?" Harry F. Mallgrave (Illinois Institute of Technology)

"Neuroinstitutionalism: Some Cross-Disciplinary Frameworks for the Study of Social Organization," Phillip J. Ethington (University of Southern California)


2:30 pm - Panel: "Order from Chaos? Design Principles from Self Assembly," Martha Grover, Constantine Dovrolis, John Peponis, and Loren Williams


4:00 pm - introduction by Shriradha Sengupta (Georgia Tech)

"The Crowdsourced Self: Digital Data Storage and Human Memory," John Hunter and Joseph Tranquillo (Bucknell University)

Closing Remarks and Discussion moderated by Barbara Maria Stafford (Georgia Tech)

Special thanks

Dr. Elizabeth Liebman, our generous patron and donor

Denise Smith and Tina O'Hailey

Kenneth J. Knoespel, McEver Professor of Engineering and Liberal Arts, Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Alan Balfour, Dean, Georgia Tech College of Architecture

George Johnston, Chair, Georgia Tech School of Architecture

John Peponis, Associate Chair, School of Architecture

Jacqueline J. Royster, Dean, Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts


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