Thursday, March 26
Main Library Community Room
The Creative Ice Age Brain: Cave Art in the Light of Neuroscience
Book discussion by Barbara Olins Alpert
A haunting mystery surrounds the magnificent Ice Age art that is found mainly in the caves of Western Europe. In this substantial new study, scholar Barbara Alpert approaches this art using information from psychology and discoveries in neuroscience. Techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) scans and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have demonstrated an enormous amount about the working of the brain. By examining the oldest-known human-made images in the light of this new information, Alpert reveals many of the impulses that underlie their creation. In a detailed comparison of Ice Age images with similar examples found throughout art history, Alpert argues that the approach of these earliest artists was not unique, but forms part of a continuum linking the distant past with the present. She shows how the art is based on a visual language found worldwide--one that appears to be universal for our species.
This program is free and open to the public.