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This is your brain. This is your brain on art.

FleischhauerSo what really does go on in your brain when you make art and view art? University of Houston (UH) engineering professor Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal wants to find out. He, Badri Roysam (chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), and Saurabh Prasad (assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering) are partnering with the folks at UH’s Blaffer Museum and will work with artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer as she conceives, plans and creates a large-scale installation. Fleischhauer will wear a headset designed for the project, fitted with up to 64 sensors to track brain activity. The Blaffer will also have headsets for visitors to check out and wear as they view art, beginning on September 26, the opening of its next exhibition.

Last winter, Contreras-Vidal collected brain activity data from about 450 people as they viewed artist Dario Robleto’s work at the Menil Collection, and the results will be published later this year. Robleto will participate in this work through the Blaffer.

“There is a part of me that is completely fascinated with, ‘Are they going to find something?’ says Fleischhauer. “But there is something very beautiful about the mystery.”

(Information and photo of Fleischhauer from UH News & Events.)

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