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At the intersection of neuroscience and art

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person with EEG cap looking at art

University of Houston Engineer Jose "Pepe" Luis Contreras-Vidal, in collaboration with conceptual artist Dario Robleto, collected electrical brain activity data from more than 400 individuals as they viewed Robleto's exhibit. In this image, Contreras-Vidal views part of the exhibit wearing an EEG cap, which collects the brain activity data.

Credit: UH Cullen College of Engineering


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people wearing EEG caps

Visitors at the Menil Collection, a Houston art museum, prepare to wear EEG headsets as they view "The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed," an exhibit by conceptual artist Dario Robleto. The NSF-funded University of Houston team used the EEG headsets to record visitor's electrical brain activity as they viewed the art. The data should lead to a deeper understanding of neural activity.

Credit: Daniel Ortiz for The Menil Collection, Houston


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artist drawing while wearing EEG cap

The University of Houston researchers recorded artists as they worked to better understand how brain activity shapes the creative process. Three Houston-area professional artists were instrumented with EEG and motion tracking units as they engaged in the collaborative art-creation game Exquisite Corpse, made famous by surrealist artists in the 1920s. The researchers invited people to watch the game; some of those audience members also wore EEG headsets while they watched the event.

Credit: Carlos Landa, UH Cullen College of Engineering Communications Office


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animation showing connections between various parts of the brain

Researchers used EEG data they collected to make functional connectivity maps that show how different parts of the brain speak to one another.

Credit: UH Cullen College of Engineering

 

This episode of NSF Science Now features Contreras-Vidal's research.

Credit: NSF