Art

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Art

Implied motion in Hokusai Manga

Click to enlarge images ARTISTS employ a number of different techniques to represent implied motion in two-dimensional works. One of these, commonly used in posters, comics and animation, is the affine shear effect, whereby a moving object is depicted as leaning into the direction of movement. Cartoonists also use action lines to depict movement and…

Fernando Vicente

A beautiful and macabre combination of anatomy and portraiture by Spanish artist Fernando Vicente.

These gorgeous stipple-engraved plates come from The Anatomy of the Brain, Explained in a Series of Engravings, by Sir Charles Bell. The book was first published in 1802 and contained 12 plates, 11 of which were printed in colour; these come from an edition which appeared in 1823.

Halloween netsuke

Netsuke are miniature Japanese sculptures which are most often carved from ivory or wood, and sometimes from other materials. They were first made in the early 17th century, and used to fasten a small box (the inro) containing medicines and personal belongings to the sash (or obi) worn around traditional Japanese garments such as the…

Metaphysical self-trepanation

Artist Madeline von Foerster provides some insight into her extraordinary self portrait (above), in a comment posted on my article about trepanation: During a previous period of depression in my life, I often experienced a severe sensation of pressure in my cranium. It sometimes felt so unbearable I wished I had a hole in my…

The Enigma of Op Art

Cataract 3, Bridget Riley, 1967. In the 1960s, the British artist Bridget Riley began to develop a distinctive style characterised by simple and repetitive geometric patterns which create vivid illusions of movement and sometimes colour and often have a disorientating effect usually described by observers as “shimmering” or “flickering”. With her explorations of the dynamic…

Beauty & the Brain

The new issue of Seed contains a short piece by me called Beauty and the Brain, about the emerging field of neuroaesthetics, which seeks to investigate the neural correlates of the appreciation of beauty in art. Neuroaesthetics was pioneered by Semir Zeki, who has been criticized as making extravagant claims about what can be achieved…

Cutting out the stone of madness

At Bioephemera, Jessica has a fascinating post about depictions of madness in 15th-17th century art, during which time mental illness was popularly attributed to the presence of a “stone of madness” (or “stone of folly”) in the head. One of the earliest depictions of this is found in the above painting, Hieronymous Bosch’s The Cure…

The X-ray photographer

Common cockles, by Nick Veasey, who “uses x-ray technology to create mesmerizing and intriguing art”.

70 million amazing rare things

One of the events organized for Bora’s visit to London was a fantastic behind-the-scenes tour of the Darwin Centre, a newly built section of the Natural History Museum which houses the museum’s researchers and contains a vast collection of around 70 million bottled animal specimens. The Darwin Centre’s tank room is a most remarkable place.…