University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
612-625-5000

Thinking Portraits: Mind, Body, Language

What animates the mind when a person engages in abstract thought?  Are the responses narrowly localized to linguistic or “higher-order” areas of the brain or are the activations much more widespread, also activating brain regions involved in sensory-perceptual, motor, and/or emotional function?  Thinking Portraits: Mind, Body, Language will study the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to answer these questions.  The project will produce data and images that are valuable both as art and science.  From a scientific point of view, using a uniquely powerful within-participant design, this project will systematically contrast patterns of brain activity shown during several different semantic tasks that draw on abstract versus concrete concepts, and test the contrasting predictions made by three prominent theoretical accounts of semantic representation.  From an artistic point of view the project will result in a series of fMRI “thinking-portraits” that uncover the often hidden decisions and processing procedures that contribute to brain images (rarely recognized in popular renditions of brain science), and that will help to question and qualify what a brain image does and does not show.  An accompanying project-book will compare and contrast scientific and artistic approaches to “thinking portraiture” – simultaneously challenging notions of an unbridgeable divide between mind/body and between art/science.

Jan Estep (Art), Principal Investigator
Co-PIs: Wilma Koutstaal (Psychology) and Sheng He (Psychology)

Tagged , , , , ,

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*