Brain, emotions, language, art and creativity

Explore how neurobiology, the study of emotions, and mother language have an impact on creativity and art appreciation.


Toronto | April 5 to 6  2022



In hybrid format | in-person and virtual


Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux

Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux

Neuroscience of Visual Arts

Collège de France et CNRS

Jean-Pierre Changeux is a neuroscientist, honorary professor at the Collège de France and the Institut Pasteur, and a member of the Académie des sciences. Renowned for his research in several fields of biology, he is also an expert on the relationship between the human being and the work of art. He explains how the contemplation or creation of a work of art is deeply linked to the emotions and the functioning of the brain.

Biologist, humanist, art lover, visionary, and philosopher, Prof. Changeux is the author of many books in the artistic field including Beauty in the Brain (Odile Jacob, 2016), The Brain and Art (De Vive Voix, 2010), The Good, the True and the Beautiful (Odile Jacob, 2008) and, in collaboration, The Enchanted Neurons, brain and music (Odile Jacob, 2014), Passions of the spirit: 17th and 18th Century Paintings from the Changeux Collection (Odile Jacob, 2006) and Light during the Enlightment and Today (Odile Jacob, 2005). He is the recipient of the 2018 Albert Einstein Award (World Award of Science), the Balzan Prize, the Linus Pauling Medal, and the Grand Prize of the Foundation for Medical Research, among others. In 2005 he was made Grand Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor.


Prof. Hervé Platel

Prof. Hervé Platel

Neuroscience of Music

Université de Caen

Hervé Platel is a professor of neuropsychology at the University of Caen, a researcher at the Inserm U1077 unit and a specialist in neuropsychology and neuroimaging of musical perception and memory. In the mid-1990s, he was one of the first researchers to use neuroimaging techniques to visualize brain activity during the analysis of the various perceptual components of music. Since the beginning of the 2000s, he has carried out work allowing the cerebral “mapping” of musical memory in non-musicians and musicians. More broadly, his fundamental and clinical work raises the question of the mechanisms explaining the neuropsychological impact (neuroplasticity, cognitive reserve) of Art as an individual and social practice in the context of aging.

Prof. Platel is the author of numerous publications, including the coordination of the books Le Cerveau musicien – Neuropsychologie et psychologie cognitive de la perception musicale (De Boeck, 2010) and Neuropsychologie et Art – Théories et applications cliniques (De Boeck, 2014).



Prof. Jean Grondin

Prof. Jean Grondin

Culture and mother language

Université de Montréal

Jean Grondin is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal and past president of the Academy of Arts and Humanities of Canada (2016-2021). A specialist in hermeneutics (the art of understanding), metaphysics, and German philosophy, he is the author of about twenty books that have been translated into more than fifteen languages, including The Beauty of Metaphysics (Cerf, 2019), The Meaning of Things (PUF, 2013), the very first biography of the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer (Grasset, 2011), an Introduction to Metaphysics (2004), The Universality of Hermeneutics (PUF, 1993) and three Que sais-je (Hermeneutics, The Philosophy of Religion and Paul Ricoeur).

His philosophy of meaning emphasizes the capacity of human intelligence for understanding, for initiative and for hope. Winner of the 2018 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Gold Medal, the Killam Prize and the Canada Council Molson Prize, he has been made an Officer of the Order of Quebec and an Officer of the Order of Canada.



Prof. Enrica Piccardo

Prof. Enrica Piccardo

Emotions, Plurilingualism and Creativity

University of Toronto

Enrica Piccardo is a professor at the University of Toronto. A collaborator with the Council of Europe since 2008 in the field of language education, she has coordinated several international projects. Her research focuses on innovative perspectives in language learning. Applying complexity theories to the analysis of the links between plurilingualism and creativity, she investigates the cognitive, emotional, and relational aspects that come into play when languages are considered as processes rather than objects. In particular, she has explored the role of mediation in the development of individuals’ plurilingual and pluricultural repertoires.

Prof. Piccardo is the author of numerous scientific publications including The Action-oriented Approach. A Dynamic Vision of Language Education (2019) with Brian North and two co-edited books coming out in 2021: The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education (Routledge) and Activating Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in the Language Classroom (Springer).





Prof. Gerald C. Cupchik

Prof. Gerald C. Cupchik

Imagination, Emotions and Aesthetic Reception

University of Toronto

Gerald C. Cupchik is a professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. His research focuses on imagination, emotion, aesthetic, and design processes, using quantitative and qualitative methods to elucidate underlying processes across Eastern and Western cultures. He explores the roots of creative imagination in science and the arts by working closely with practitioners and those who interpret or utilize their works. His goal is to develop unified models which account for imagination and emotion.

Prof. Cupchik analyzes people’s sensitivity to works of art and the emotions they feel during the artistic encounters. He is the author of numerous publications, including the book The Aesthetics of Emotion: Up the Down Staircase of the Mind-Body (2017, Cambridge University Press). In 2010, he was awarded the Rudolf Arnheim Prize (American Psychological Association); and in 2018, the Gustav Fechner Prize (International Association for Empirical Aesthetics).

Prof. Jean-Marc Dewaele

Prof. Jean-Marc Dewaele

Emotions and Multilingualism

University of London (U. K.)

Jean-Marc Dewaele is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at Birkbeck, University of London. He does research on individual differences in psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, pragmatic, psychological and emotional aspects of Second Language Acquisition and Multilingualism. He is the author of the monograph Emotions in Multiple Languages in 2010 (2nd ed in 2013). He is former president of the European Second Language Association and the International Association of Multilingualism. He is current General Editor of Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

Prof. Dewaele won the Equality and Diversity Research Award from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013) and the Robert C. Gardner Award for Outstanding Research in Bilingualism (2016) from the International Association of Language and Social Psychology.





Prof. Oshin Vartanian

Prof. Oshin Vartanian

Neuroscience of Creativity

University of Toronto

Oshin Vartanian is a defense scientist at Defense Research and Development Canada and holds an adjunct Assistant Professor position in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He is also the Editor of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

His co-edited volumes include Neuroaesthetics (Baywood Publishing Company), Neuroscience of creativity (The MIT Press), Neuroscience of decision making (Psychology Press), and most recently The Cambridge handbook of the neuroscience of creativity (Cambridge University Press). His main areas of interest include the cognitive and neural bases of aesthetics and creativity.



Prof. Vanina Leschziner

Prof. Vanina Leschziner

Sensory Experience and Creativity

University of Toronto

Vanina Leschziner is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her main areas of interest are in sociological theory, culture, cognition, organizational analysis, and valuation and evaluation. Her book, At the Chef’s Table: Culinary Creativity in Elite Restaurants (Stanford University Press, 2015), analyzes the work of chefs to explain the logics of action and social dynamics of cultural creation.

Her research has been published in Sociological Theory, Theory and Society, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Sociological Forum, among other publications. She is currently working on a book titled Culture and Creativity (under contract with Polity Press), and as a guest co-editor of a special issue on Culture and Cognition, forthcoming in Sociological Forum.
















Federation of Canadian Artists

© Walk the Arts | BRAVO 2022


À l’image de la communauté francophone de l’Ontario, BRAVO réunit les artistes en arts visuels, médiatiques et de métiers d’arts et les appuie dans leurs milieux respectifs, pour leur permettre d’atteindre leurs objectifs professionnels.



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