The Land Mondrian Experiment


The Laboratory of Neurobiology is devoted to the study of the visual brain, its organization and its functioning in health and in disease.

We use a variety of techniques: anatomical to study the structure and connections of the visual brain; electro-physiological and electro-encephalographic to study the way in which cells constituting the visual brain respond to visual stimuli; psychophysical to study the perceptual capacities and limitations of the visual brain; imaging to determine the location and functioning of the many parallel and specialized sub-systems in the visual brain; and inactivation techniques to learn about what happens when a given area of the visual brain is temporarily and reversibly inactivated. We also study patients whose visual brain is damaged in order to characterize better how the visual brain functions.

More recently, we have used the information gained from the study of the brain over the past forty years to study the relationship of visual art to the functioning of the visual brain, the field which we refer to as neuroesthetics.

The Laboratory of Neurobiology is supported by the Wellcome Trust, London.

Latest news

  • Now available: Semir Zeki's first book, A Vision of the Brain, can be downloaded here.
  • Upcoming lecture 25/04/14 17:45 Madrid: Closing Lecture on Neuroesthetics at I Jornado internacional sobre neuroestética.
  • Upcoming lecture 03/05/14 10:30 Sydney - Art Gallery of New South Wales: Keynote address on The Fatal Trio: Beauty, Desire, Love at the 19th Sydney Biennale.
  • Upcoming lecture 06/05/14 University of Melbourne - The Florey Institute: Lecture on The neurobiology of subjective experiences - from colour to beauty
  • Upcoming lecture 15/05/14 18:00 Café Scientifique: Lecture on The Science of Beauty
  • In discussion 04/06/14 18:00 Cheltenham: ...with Ophelia Deroy and Chris McManus on Beauty and the Brain at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 2014.
  • In dialogue 06/06/14 University of Catania, Sicily: ...with Michael Burke at the Faculty of Letters, Catania University.
  • Upcoming lecture 08/07/14 Milan - Sala degli Alessi, Palazzo Marino, Piazza della Scala: A talk at the symposium on architecture, part of the 2014 FENS programme
  • Upcoming lecture 15-16/11/14 Warsaw (exact timing to be announced): A talk at the "Aspects of Neuroscience" conference
  • Upcoming lecture 05-06/12/14 Heidelberg (exact timing to be announced): Keynote address at the Helmholtz Foundation, Heidelberg University
  • Now available: Perceptual asynchrony for motion by Yu Tung Lo and Semir Zeki in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Now available: Varieties of perceptual instability and their neural correlates by Tomohiro Ishizu and Semir Zeki in Neuroimage.
  • Now available: The experience of mathematical beauty and its neural correlates by Semir Zeki, John Romaya, Dionigi Benincasa and Sir Michael Atiyah in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Now available: The "Visual Shock" of Francis Bacon: an essay in neuroesthetics by Semir Zeki and Tomohiro Ishizu in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Now available: Clive Bell's "Significant Form" and the neurobiology of aesthetics by Semir Zeki is now available under open access in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Now available: The brain's specialized systems for aesthetic and perceptual judgments by Semir Zeki and Tomohiro Ishizu is now available under open access in the European Journal of Neuroscience.
  • Now available: Parallelism in the brain's visual form system by Semir Zeki and Yoshihito Shigihara is now available in the European Journal of Neuroscience.
  • Now available: Splendors and Miseries of the Brain is now available in Greek.