International Conference

June 9 – 10, 2022, University of Stuttgart, KII, Room 17.23, Keplerstraße 17, 70174 Stuttgart

In the past two decades researchers in cognitive and affective neuroscience have become increasingly interested in investigating the neural underpinnings of aesthetic experience and its valuation with brain-imaging techniques. Neuroaesthetics has set out to reveal correlations between brain mechanisms and processes and aesthetic phenomena on the personal level of the experiencing subject in a search for the neuronal signature of aesthetic experience.

The fundamental idea of correlating knowledge about the bottom-up processes studied by neuroscience and the top-down conceptualizations of the humanities remains the key problem of neuroaesthetics. For even if robust correlations between material processes in the brain and aesthetic experiences at the personal level can be empirically established, the gap between the neurobiological processing level and the level of conscious aesthetic experience remains. So how are we to bridge the gap between the physical brain and the aesthetic mind?


Thursday, June 9

6-8 pm Conference Opening

Zoom Link for Thursday Meeting-ID: 838 6656 0596, Password: 168143

  • Introduction by the organizers
  • Keynote Address by Vittorio Gallese (Parma), Embodied Simulation and its Relation to the Worlds of Fiction

Friday, June 10

Zoom Link for Friday's sessions – Meeting-ID: 860 0526 8370, Password: 785071

10 am - 1 pm Session 1: The Neuroaesthetics of Visual Art

  • Anna Miscená and Raphael Rosenberg (Vienna), Filling the Gap: Using Eye-Tracking for a Cognitive Art History
  • Edward A. Vessel (Frankfurt/M.), Linking Hypotheses for a Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetics
  • Joerg Fingerhut (Munich), “Moving Neuroaesthetics toward Aesthetic Cognitivism

2-5 pm Session 2: The Neuroaesthetics of Literary Reading | Neuropoetics

  • Pascal Nicklas (Mainz),Emotional Contagion in Reading Fiction: The Making of Emotions and Physiological Response
  • Suzanne Nalbantian (New York), Neurocognitive Bases of Literary Art: True Consilience between Neuroscience and the Humanities
  • Markus Hartner (Bielefeld), Between ‘Loose’ and ‘Strict’ Thinking: Neuroaesthetics and the Challenges of Interdisciplinary Research

5.30-7.30 pm Session 3: The Theory and Practice of Collaboration

  • Helmut Leder (Vienna), Theories in Empirical Aesthetics: Psychology of the Arts?
  • Closing remarks by the organizers


Contact: roeska-hardy[at] | isekenmeier[at]

Scientific and conference management: Louise Röska-Hardy (Essen/Heidelberg), Guido Isekenmeier (Stuttgart/Heidelberg)

Research project NeuroImpact – Today's Neurosciences and Their Effects (NINE) of the Institute for the Study of Culture Heidelberg

Funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung