Vaegan Seminar: "The Pleasure of Seeing"

Friday, 2 March, 2018 - 12:00

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Professor Branka Spehar from the UNSW School of Psychology kicks off the Vaegan Seminar Series for 2018.  Professor Spehar will give a lecture titled "The Pleasure of Seeing" at 12pm on Friday 2 March 2018 at the School of Optometry and Vision Science. All students, colleagues, general public welcome to attend.

Details are as follows:

Date: Friday 2 March 2018

Time: 12pm - 1pm 

Location: Rupert Myers Theatre, Next to the School of Optometry and Vision Science, Gate 14 Barker Street, Kensington UNSW, M15 on the campus map.

Title: The pleasure of seeing

Abstract: The experience of beauty and aesthetic appreciation are among the most compelling aspects of our interaction with the world, extending to a wide range of artistic, natural and everyday objects. Often regarded as unpredictable, aesthetic preferences are typically conceptualised as a later-stage, complex emotional process whose structure and function are not directly related to the object characteristics that induce it in the first place. We challenge this view and argue for the perceptual foundations of aesthetic experience, showing how investigations of aesthetic preferences can proceed on firm theoretical and methodological foundations of sensory processing.

Short Biography: Branka Spehar is a Professor of Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  Her research interests include color perception, perceptual organisation, attention, and, most recently, the perceptual foundations of aesthetic experience. She is interested in the neural mechanisms underlying these processes, how are they affected by varying spatial and temporal context, how they develop in infants and children and how are they are tuned to the statistics and characteristics of natural images.