The two-culture problem (which one might think Leonardo had solved) is particularly vexing when it comes to neuroscience and visual art. Neuroaestheticians would have us believe that they can—at least in principle—help us understand art by telling us how the brain of the creative artist produces art and how the brain of the viewer processes art and produces pleasure. I will take a skeptical look at such claims, share some thoughts about conditions that would make such a rapprochement possible, and illustrate with a puzzle concerning Leonardo's Last Supper.
This conversation was part of The Soul of Leonardo da Vinci: A symposium in celebration of the quincentenary of Leonardo’s death
, with Hanna Arie-Gaifman, Jonathan Berger, Howard Morgan, Michael Kubovy, Israel Nelken, Barbara Tversky, Timothy Weaver, and Robert Zwijnenberg.
Co-Produced by the 92nd Street Y and Stanford University’s Symposium on Music and the Brain.