Art and science

Image James just finished The Age of Insight by Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel.  Kandel has conducted extensive research into the workings of human memory.

In this book, Kandel focuses on how unconscious mental processes affect how we see and interpret works of art.  He discusses how sensory images can stimulate emotional reactions, the science of how we perceive faces and colors, and works his way up to the conclusion that art is a human universal with evolutionary value.

It is a long book and parts of it are heavy on the nuts-and-bolts of brain science.  Nonetheless, it is written in clear and compelling language and contains valuable insights that are highly relevant to understanding how people think and interact with the world.

Here is a review. And you can hear Kandel discuss his book here.