Faculty Advisor

Marcavage, Janet

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2020


This body of art attempts to bridge two subjects, visual art and neuroscience. It does so by illustrating five topics in neuroaesthetics, the study of how we see and perceive art. I believe beautiful things can happen at the intersections of interdisciplinary subjects and wanted to explore this one further.

The first piece begins with a straightforward introduction to the structure of the human eye. The drawings following increase in complexity, working further up the visual process. For instance, the second depicts intermediate pathways in the brain using Op art techniques. The third illustrates how memory influences how we see the world in addition to art. The fourth exhibits the six basic emotions, which can be evoked by art depending on one’s episodic memories and empathy toward the artist. Finally, the fifth exemplifies how lack of familiar imagery in abstract art leaves much of work to the individual’s top-down functioning in the brain.

If any of these words or ideas are unfamiliar, good. While each piece has its own summary of the science the work is illustrating, I hope for some it is just a jumping off point for learning about a new subject, whether that be art, neuroscience, or something in between.




University of Puget Sound