The Unification of the Arts

Neurocognitive Perspectives on What the Arts Share and Why

Friday, May 11th 2018


This one-day conference will explore the underlying similarities and differences among the arts, both at the cognitive and neural levels. Such factors permit syntheses of the arts, such as dancing to music, singing words, streaming background music in a movie, or blending sounds and visual elements in multimedia forms. By understanding how artforms are able to combine, we can aspire towards a unification of the arts.


Ellen Dissanayake (University of Washington): Origins of the arts

Raymond Mar (York University): Literature/theatre

Oshin Vartanian (University of Toronto): The visual arts/architecture

Krista Hyde (University of Montreal): Music

Steven Brown (McMaster University): Dance

Anjan Chatterjee (University of Pennsylvania): Aesthetics

Aaron Kozbelt (Brooklyn College, City University of New York): Creativity

Organized by Steven Brown

Friday, May 11th 2018

9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Council Chambers, Gilmour Hall

McMaster University

Hamilton, Ontario

Poster Session

People are encouraged to present research findings related to cognitive and/or neural aspects of any branch of the arts at a poster session during the lunch break. 

Abstracts should be 250 words and 

submitted by Monday April 30th 

Submit abstracts to Matthew Berry (

Submit an Abstract for a research poster

Registration cost: $80 ($50 for students).
This includes lunch.

For more information, please contact Steven Brown (

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