University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Barbara Stafford — Slow Looking: Whatever Happened to Selective Attention?

January 29, 2009  by: Dom

Barbara Stafford
William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago

February 4, 4:00 pm, 120 Clemens Hall

Slow Looking: Whatever Happened to Selective Attention?

Brain Research and the new master narrative of the growth of productivity [as in mental “productivity”] offers scant guidance to what might be termed the biology of freedom. Inspired by the model of economics, the “de-regulation,” as it were, of the prefrontal cortex’s executive control, the “privatization” of brain localization [whereby global functions or collective agencies get broken up and pharmacologically and otherwise targeted] speaks to this larger process.

But if the Brain-Mind is to be integrated [i.e. the central problem of the Neural Correlates of Consciousness] then it needs to be bound by more than the sectional pursuit of self-interest captured in the language of indefinite “brain development and growth.”

My lecture attempts to open the door onto a dialogue between psychology and neurology the mind-science of the humanities and the brain-science of neurobiology. If we actually look at how human beings behave when they involve themselves in more complex activities [thinking, communicating, investigating, observing] they slow down, even hesitate.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
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