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How Our Brain Innovates Thinking

Webinar on art and neuroscience

from March 16, 2023 to April 28, 2023

The focus of the third edition is on


The role of touch in experiencing art


From the very beginning of our journey, it is through touch that we first experience and get to know the world. Despite its being taken for granted, touch is key to getting in contact with oneself and relating to others, while enabling us to move coherently within the environment, recognise and define the surrounding world, as other sensations do in fact come into play later on.

Philosophy, neuroscience and art have contributed to establishing how the tactile experience cannot be reduced to the mere touching of an object, a body, or a surface. It is rather involved in several perceptual mechanisms, which trigger experiences and memories resulting also from other sensory processes, including vision. Touching thus becomes a physical, yet abstract operation, called upon by a multitude of aesthetic experiences related to vision, such as observing a painting or sculpture, reading a book, watching a film, experiencing a virtual immersive environment or participating in a performance. 


What kind of contact is established between the observer and the work of art in the aesthetic experience? What does neuroscience tell us today about the tactile experience? Can we talk about vision as a multi-componential mechanism that also integrates the experience resulting from other senses including touch? How is the tactile experience guiding us in everyday life and during the artistic experience, be it real, digital or virtual?

These are just some of the questions the third edition of HOBIT will try to answer through the point of view of different disciplines and international artists, art historians, scholars and researchers.


Michele Cometa (Università degli Studi di Palermo); 

Dina Riccò (Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Design); 

Giulia Scapin (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,

The Netherlands; University of Haifa, Israel) 

Cristina Loi (University of Basel, Switzerland; University

of Stavanger, Norway) 

Daniela Cotimbo (Independent art curator and founder

of Re:Humanism Art Prize) 

Emanuele Arielli (Università IUAV di Venezia, Dipartimento di Culture del progetto) 

Virgilio Sieni (coreografo)

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