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Look Me in the Eye

Julian Bell: Art and the Brain, 8 October 2009

Splendours and Miseries of the Brain: Love, Creativity and the Quest for Human Happiness 
by Semir Zeki.
Wiley-Blackwell, 234 pp., £16.99, November 2008, 978 1 4051 8557 8
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Neuroarthistory: From Aristotle and Pliny to Baxandall and Zeki 
by John Onians.
Yale, 225 pp., £18.99, February 2008, 978 0 300 12677 8
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Echo Objects: The Cognitive Work of Images 
by Barbara Maria Stafford.
Chicago, 281 pp., £20.50, November 2008, 978 0 226 77052 9
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... of what happens inside our brains when we look at pictures, neurologists using fMRI – notably, Semir Zeki – have pointed art studies in a significant new direction. John Onians and Barbara Maria Stafford, both art historians, certainly think so, though Neuroarthistory and Echo Objects argue the case in quite different ways. What might the far view ...

Representing Grandma

Steven Rose, 7 July 1994

The Astounding Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul 
by Francis Crick.
Simon and Schuster, 317 pp., £16.99, May 1994, 9780671711580
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... particular, where he has been somewhat upstaged by the superb new book by the visual physiologist Semir Zeki, A Vision of the Brain.* In fact, it is only really in the last fifty pages or so that a specifically Crickian view of consciousness begins to emerge and the contributions of Christof Koch become apparent. The problem that any neural theory of ...

Yearning for the ‘Utile’

Frank Kermode: Snobbery and John Carey, 23 June 2005

What Good Are the Arts? 
by John Carey.
Faber, 286 pp., £12.99, June 2005, 0 571 22602 7
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... the difficulty of applying scientific research to art, even when fine minds attempt it.’ Semir Zeki’s An Exploration of Art and the Brain does give the prosecutor a moment’s pause. He is impressed by Zeki’s point that the visual system of the brain is millions of years older than its linguistic ...

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