Art, Vision, & the Brain: Part 2, 2015 [Bass Connections: Brain & Society]

Watch our Bass Connections: Brain & Society team in action, as we explore color and brightness in art and the visual system. The project culminates with an international symposium at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Art—painting, drawing, sculpture, weaving—is a visual medium for both the artist and the viewer. Although we often think of vision as the act of seeing a physical depiction of the world, we are actually constructing a representation of the world through a complicated process by which light signals are transformed by the eye and brain. As such, scientists and artists both work towards understanding many aspects of visual perception; art informs how we see, and as we learn more about how the brain works, we deepen our appreciation of both art and science. Processing of color and brightness has many implications for both perception and art. Moreover, elements of visual perception (luminance, contrast sensitivity and color vision) are affected in diseases of and trauma to the retina and brain. Understanding the neural mechanisms of visual perception will aid the development of medical treatments and medical devices for these disorders.