479 research outputs found

    Intervista a Vittorio Gallese

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    Questa intervista è stata realizzata dalla redazione di Ricerche di S/Confine in occasione di questo numero monografico della rivista, dedicato al tema dello specchio. Vittorio Gallese è professore di Fisiologia presso il Dipartimento di Neuroscienze dell’Università degli Studi di Parma, dove è anche coordinatore del programma di dottorato in Neuroscienze e direttore della Scuola di dottorato in Medicina. Neuroscienziato cognitivo, la sua ricerca si concentra sulla descrizione incarnata degli aspetti più rilevanti della cognizione sociale. Il suo principale contributo consiste nella scoperta, insieme ai suoi colleghi di Parma, dei neuroni specchio e nell'elaborazione di un modello teorico di cognizione sociale, la teoria della Simulazione Incarnata (Embodied Simulation ).. La sua attività scientifica è documentata da più di duecento pubblicazioni scientifiche su riviste internazionali peer-reviewed e volumi. Ha ricevuto il Grawemeyer Award for Psychology nel 2007, il premio Musatti nel 2014, la Laurea Honoris Causa dall’Università Cattolica di Lovanio nel 2010, e l’Arnold Pfeffer Prize for Neuropsychoanalysis nel 2010.The editors of Ricerche di S/Confine interviewed Vittorio Gallese on the occasion of this monographic issue of the journal, dedicated to the theme of the mirror. Vittorio Gallese, MD and trained neurologist, is Professor of Physiology at the Dept. of Neuroscience of the University of Parma where is Coordinator of the PhD Program in Neuroscience and Director of the Doctoral School of Medicine. Cognitive neuroscientist, his research focuses on an embodied account of social cognition. His major contribution is the discovery, together with his colleagues of Parma, of mirror neurons and the elaboration of a theoretical model of social cognition – Embodied Simulation Theory. His scientific activity is testified by more than 200 scientific publications in peerreviewed international scientific journals and edited books. He received the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology in 2007, the Musatti prize in 2014, the Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Leuven in 2010, and the Arnold Pfeffer Prize for Neuropsychoanalysis in 2010

    The bodily space of images

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    Seeing a blush on the visible and invisible spectrum: a functional thermal infrared imaging study

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    So far blushing has been examined in the context of a negative rather than a positive reinforcement where visual displays of a blush were based on subjective measures. The current study used infrared imaging to measure thermal patterns of the face while with the use of a video camera quantified on the visible spectrum alterations in skin color related to a compliment. To elicit a blush a three-phase dialog was adopted ending or starting with a compliment on a female sample (N = 22). When the dialog ended with a compliment results showed a linear increase in temperature for the cheek, and forehead whereas for the peri-orbital region a linear decrease was observed. The compliment phase marked the highest temperature on the chin independent of whether or not the experiment started with a compliment contrary to other facial regions, which did not show a significant change when the experiment started with a compliment. Analyses on the visible spectrum showed that skin pigmentation was getting deep red in the compliment condition compared to the serious and social dialog conditions for both the forehead and the cheeks. No significant association was observed between temperature values and erythrocyte displays on the forehead and cheek. Heat is the physiological product of an arousing social scenario, however, preconceived notions about blushing propensity seem to drive erythrocyte displays and not necessarily conscious awareness of somatic sensations

    Motion, emotion and empathy in esthetic experience

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    The implications of the discovery of mirroring mechanisms and embodied simulation for empathetic responses to images in general, and to works of visual art in particular, have not yet been assessed. Here, we address this issue and we challenge the primacy of cognition in responses to art. We propose that a crucial element of esthetic response consists of the activation of embodied mechanisms encompassing the simulation of actions, emotions and corporeal sensation, and that these mechanisms are universal. This basic level of reaction to images is essential to understanding the effectiveness both of everyday images and of works of art. Historical, cultural and other contextual factors do not preclude the importance of considering the neural processes that arise in the empathetic understanding of visual artworks

    The paradigmatic body : embodied simulation, intersubjectivity, the bodily self, and language

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    In this paper we propose a way in which cognitive neuroscience could provide new insights on three aspects of social cognition: intersubjectivity, the human self, and language. We emphasize the crucial role of the body, conceived as the constitutive source of pre-reflective consciousness of the self and of the other. We provide a critical view of contemporary social cognitive neuroscience, arguing that the brain level of description is a necessary but not sufficient condition for studying intersubjectivity, the human self, and language; which are only properly visible if coupled with a full appreciation of their intertwined relationship with the body. We introduce mirror mechanisms and embodied simulation and discuss their relevance to a new account of intersubjectivity and the human self. In this context, we focus on a specifically human modality of intersubjectivity: language. Aspects of social cognition related to language are discussed in terms of embodiment, while emphasizing the progress and limitations of this approach. We argue that a key aspect of human language consists in its decoupling from its usual denotative role, hence manifesting its power of abstraction. We discuss these features of human language as instantiations of the Greek notion of paradeigma, originally explored by Aristotle to refer to a typical form of rhetorical reasoning and relate it to embodied simulation. Paradigmatic knowledge connects the particular with the particular, moving from the contingent particular situation to an exemplary case. Similarly, embodied simulation is the suspension of the “concrete” application of a process: reuse of motor knowledge in the absence of the movement it realizes is an example of “paradigmatic knowledge.” This new epistemological approach to intersubjectivity generates predictions about the intrinsic functional nature of our social cognitive operations, cutting across, and not subordinated to, a specific ontology of mind

    Visions of the body. Embodied simulation and aesthetic experience

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    The present contribution is mainly intended to illustrate how some recent discoveries in the field of neurosciences have revolutionized our ideas about perception, action and cognition, and how these new neuro-scientific perspectives can shed light on the human relationship to art and aesthetics, in the frame of an approach known as "experimental aesthetics". Experimental aesthetics addresses the problem of artistic images by investigating the brain-body physiological correlates of the aesthetic experience and human creativity, providing a perspective that is complementary, and not in opposition, to the humanistic one on the arts and the aesthetic
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