Neuro Humanities Studies

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Grazia Pulvirenti, Renata Gambino, The paradox of Romantic ekphrasis. Metacritic discourse, perception and imagination in art descripti


Ekphrasis is a text genre based on the intertwining of visual and verbal features, involving the processes of both reading, and priming a visual image or a related action. We argue in this study that...

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Arthur M. Jacobs, Roel M. Willems,

Caring About Dostoyevsky: The Untapped Potential of Studying Literature


Source: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Year: 2016
Topics: Emotion; Empathy;
Disciplines: Literature;

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Should cognitive scientists and neuroscientists care about Dostoyevsky? Engaging with fiction is a natural and rich behavior, providing a unique window onto the mind and brain, particularly for mental simulation, emotion, empathy, and immersion. With advances in analysis techniques, it is time that cognitive scientists and neuroscientists embrace literature and fiction. Literature has been rooted firmly in the territory of the humanities for centuries. Scholars from the humanities have studied the great works of literary writers, and it may seem unlikely that literature could be part of the academic lexicon of cognitive scientists. In the final part of this paper we argue against an often heard reason against the neurocognitive study of literature, namely that it is technically impossible. We begin by showcasing four subdisciplines of cognitive science for which the study of fiction is relevant and has provided interesting insights. Note that we use the terms ‘fiction’ and ‘literature’ loosely for ease of reading.

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The Neuro Humanities Studies Network aims at creating a multidisciplinary research community in order to develop and structure a linking platform for neuro-scientific, cognitive topics and humanities.



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