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Art and the Brain: Literature and the Brain seminar

February 15, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Art and the Brain will take place on February 15th from 6-8 PM in person and on Zoom! This open panel discussion will be the first of our series focusing on Literature and the Braingrounded with a discussion on Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and epilepsy from experts in literature and neurology, before moving to an open discussion based upon attendees’ interests regarding the more general intersection of literature and the brain. The pre-event reading will be sent to those who RSVP in the coming days. Discussions led by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Chantoiseau of the Flaubert Museum France, Dr. Inger Brodey of UNC English and Comparative Literature, Dr. Heidi Roth, Neurology, among others.

To RSVP (in person and zoom), please fill out this form.

If attending online, access the Zoom Link

Art, creativity, neurology, and psychiatry may appear as divergent disciplines, but their relations within brain function are a common feature. Reciprocally, art explores new ideas, metaphors, and conceptions that contribute to the ways we understand the brain, ourselves, and our world.

Disorders of the brain, including epilepsy, psychosis, depression, dementia, stroke and many others alter our ability to perceive, conceive, imagine, move, speak, sense, and emote in many ways. The creative process involves the highest levels of cognition and integrated brain function, implicating the frontal cortex, language areas, memory and learning areas of the brain and many others.

Clinicians often observe these alterations in their daily work, yet the interaction between biological changes and the artistic expressions associated, and how these can inform us about our humanity, remains poorly understood and seldom explored.

Artists like Van Gogh, Dostoevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, Apollinaire, Flaubert, Beethoven, Handel, Ravel, Maupassant, Dazai, and many others suffered neurologic and neuropsychiatric events that significantly altered/contributed to their creativity and artwork. Through readings and explorations of their art, we will examine and discuss how the various neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders of famous artists is associated with their art, and how art has contributed to the development of neurology and medicine.


February 15, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


FPG Child Development Institute
105 Smith Level Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States