Todd Lael Siler
ArtScience├?┬« Publications, USA
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Neurochem Neuropharm
All art and aesthetic experiences embody brain actions that encompass molecular and behavioral neuropharmacology. In fact, the whole process of making art, experiencing and appreciating art, as well as applying art in all-purpose ways to enrich our lives entails neurochemical interactions involving our central and peripheral nervous systems. We sense this first-hand the instant we├ó┬?┬?re attracted to or repelled by an artwork we like or dis-like; it├ó┬?┬?s evidenced by spikes in sensory evoked potentials or rapid rises in neurotransmit-ters norepinephrine and dopamine with sharp fluctuations in our heart rate and blood pressure. We know this when we self-discover how an artwork is relevant to our work and lives; a visceral connection is made that├ó┬?┬?s as visible as a surge of serotonin in the brain reward system. Our nervous systems are left feeling either inspired with wonder or agitated, dismayed or even depressed because we ├ó┬?┬?didn├ó┬?┬?t get it├ó┬?┬Ł├ó┬?┬?as if there was something more tangible to takeaway other than ephemeral experiences. This article addresses why and how art is much more than works of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, neurohormones, enzymes, receptor proteins, ligand-gated ion channels (LGIC) receptors, neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, and other brain mechanisms that enable and influence our creative acts of thinking, feeling, discovering, innovating, and communications. It is an amalgamation of these neural processes and products, which we freely interpret and use endlessly with imagination. Art remains a primary tool for researching and understanding the ever-evolving complexity and mysteries of human systems.
Todd Lael Siler is an internationally recognized visual artist, author, and consultant. He received a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in Psychology and Art from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986, becoming the first visual artist to receive this Doctoral degree at MIT. He began advocating the full integration of the arts and sciences in the 1970s. He founded The ArtScience Program, which pioneered arts-based learning methods and tools for cultivating innovation. The World Cultural Council awarded him the 2011 Leonardo DaVinci World Award of Arts, recognizing his lifelong practice of applying the “ArtScience” process to envision viable solutions to real world global challenges.