Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Silvia Casini (Aberdeen) “From the Scan-portrait to BioArt Scenarios”

7 December 2015, 3:00 pm4:30 pm

Abstract: Since the so-called ‘Decade of the Brain’ in the 1990s, the images produced through brain imaging techniques have captured the public imagination and scholarly attention far beyond the closed circuit of the neurosciences: the possibility to visualize the human brain and hence to grasp the materiality of thinking and feeling seemed possible as never before. The definition of one’s own identity seems to be increasingly dependent on the biology of the brain, to the point where the category of personhood has been substituted by brainhood, the ontological belief for which “the brain is the only part of the body we need in order to be ourselves” (Vidal 2009: 6). The talk will discuss, first, how brain scans obtained with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are created and read inside the laboratory; second, it will address a variety of examples of art and science collaborative projects that stimulate our visual and critical thinking about brain imaging and its wider cultural implications. As Dumit argues in his article ‘How (Not) to Do Things with Brain Images’ (2014), neuro-realism is the idea that brain scans are the visual evidence of brain activity despite the complexity inherent not only to data acquisition but also the actual image creation. If neuro-realism is the fallacy of neuroscience, are artists mainly reproducing it?

Silvia Casini is a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and currently a visitor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences. Her research focuses on the aesthetic, epistemological and societal implications of scientific visualization, particularly in the case of emerging technologies such as brain imaging and nanotechnologies.


7 December 2015
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Bryan W. Roberts


LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map