It's that time, again! Come join internationally renowned scientists and artists discussing the brain's responses to such things as gourmet food, fine wine and aromatic perfumes at the Fifth International Conference on Neuroesthetics at UC Berkley on Saturday, January 21, 2006.
The theme of this year's conference is Flavors of Experience. Understanding how chocolate, champagne or Channel No. 5 can elicit intense reactions and enhance long-term memories promises to guide scientists in their research of how pleasure centers and the memory system in the brain are connected. Likewise, chefs, vintners and perfumers can learn from scientists how our brains respond to their products. At the day-long conference, speakers will range from Yale University's Dana M. Small, an expert in how the brain processes flavor, to San Francisco Zen Center's Ed Epse Brown, a priest, cook and author.
The conference, which is sponsored by the Berkeley-based Minerva Foundation and the Institute of Neuroesthetics in London, is free and open to the public. Speakers, include:
"There is no accounting for flavour without having first experienced it." Dana M. Small Assistant Professor of Psychology and Surgery, Yale University, Assistant Fellow of the John B Pierce Laboratory: "The Phenomenology of Terroir" Randall Grahm Viticulturist and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyards Santa Cruz, California; "Comparing Pepsi to Picasso: neural valuation responses to aesthetic and consummatory preference." Read Montague Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; "The Neuroesthetics of Smell: From Pavlov to Proust, with Pleasure." Jay A. Gottfried Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; "Aroma, Emotion and Memory"Daniel Patterson, Restaurateur and chef, Frisson, San Francisco, California; "Neurobiology underlying the neuroesthetic experience of taste." Scott Herness Professor of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; "Awakening Taste: The Ceremony of Eating Just One Potato Chip." Ed Espe Brown Zen priest, cook, and author, San Francisco Zen Center; "Odor and pheromone processing in the human brain in relation to sex and sexual orientation" Ivanka Savic Berglund Associate professor and senior consultant neurologist, Centre of Gender Related Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
This is always a fantastic conference. Here are my write ups from 2004 (Emotions in Art and the Brain) and 2005 (Empathy in the Brain and Art) in case you are interested.