Keynote Speakers

Anjan Chatterjee
(University of Pennsylvania)

Gerard Steen
(University of Amsterdam)

Roundtable Respondents

Alexander Bergs (University of Osnabrück), Lorella Bosco (University of Bari), Deborah Jenson (Duke University), Gaetano Lalomia (University of Catania), Pascal Nicklas (University of Mainz), Pierre-Louis Patoine (New Sorbonne University), Massimo Salgaro (University of Verona), Marco Venuti (University of Catania), Francesca Vigo (University of Catania)


Renata Gambino, Grazia Pulvirenti, Simona Di Mari, Salvatore Arcidiacono, Federica Abramo, Natalia Scandurra, Sabrina Apa


Renata Gambino (

Simona Di Mari (

NHS Dialogue 2014

The 1st Transdisciplinary Dialogue on Neuroaesthetics and Cognitive Poetics took place on the 6th and the 7th of June 2014, in the beautiful setting of the “Night Choir” of the former Benedictine Monastery, seat of the Humanities Department of the University of Catania. The event was organised by the NHS research group leaders, Grazia Pulvirenti and Renata Gambino.  The Dialogue brought together scientists and scholars interested in the fields of neuroaesthetics and neurocognitive science, in order to discuss recent and current developments in transdisciplinary approaches to the study of mind and brain as well as to the study of arts and humanities.

The opening address from Grazia Pulvirenti and Renata Gambino encouraged lively exchange among the participants and set the tone for the subsequent proceedings, underlining the choice of the dialogue form as an instrument to involve in the discussion early career researchers, postgraduate and graduate students who also took part in the meeting.

Prof. Semir Zeki gave the first keynote of the Dialogue introducing the field of neuroaesthetics and explaining the importance of studying the creative process in order to understand the relation between mind, brain, and experience.

Prof. Michael Burke gave the second keynote focusing on the contribution of rhetoric and poetics to neuroscientific investigation.

On the second day, two NHS team members, Federica Abramo and Salvatore Arcidiacono, presented our open transdisciplinary platform ( and its future implementation, while Clara Colombatto from the Duke University presented the activities of their research group.

The Dialogue concluded with a roundtable in which each of the respondents presented the specificities of her/his approach to the transdisciplinary field of neurohumanities, thus prompting a discussion on future possible paths and developments in the discipline.

We thank everyone who took part and supported the 1st Transdisciplinary Dialogue on Neuroaesthetics and Cognitive Poetics.

We look forward to the Second Dialogue on the topic “Metaphors as source of creative thought” which will be held on 4-6 June 2015.

Take a look at the photo gallery to see images of the 1st Transdisciplinary Dialogue on Neuroaesthetics and Cognitive Poetics.


Mariaelisa Dimino
PhD Candidate at University of Verona