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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
Date:3/25/2010

A novel research project spearheaded by the University of Leicester and part-funded by The Leverhulme Trust aims to shed new light on the way people perceive art.

By bringing together an artist and a neuroscientist, both disciplines seek to learn from each other principles of visual perception. In the process of the research, both artist and scientist are gaining new insights into what truly lies in the eye of the beholder.

Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Neuroscientist and Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Leicester is working with renowned Argentinean artist Mariano Molina to assess the connections between art and visual perception- and the way the brain processes these images.

Mariano Molina's residency in the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester will result in a public exhibition drawing together art and science in a public space.

Professor Quian Quiroga said: "As a neuroscientist I should say that we are sometimes studying things that artists have known at least intuitively for centuries. We come up with something new, and then find artists knew about it all the time.

"One thing we have been exploring together is the different ways people process high frequencies in art (detail you see close up) and low frequencies (the overall effect you see when you stand back from a picture).

"We are also interested in optical illusions. These are a big thing in neuroscience- visual illusions teach us how the brain processes information, and Mariano is fascinated by this."

As part of the research, Mariano Molina has worked with an eye tracker to find out how people perceive images.

He said: "It's made a difference because I can tell that artists have this ability to realise many neuroscience concepts, but perhaps not in a scientific way. For us it's mainly intuition.

"I am finding out about the way neurons represent images and I am currently looking for connectio
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Contact: Ather Mirza
pressoffice@le.ac.uk
44-116-252-3335
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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