The Land Mondrian Experiment

Welcome

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 - lectures

  • Announcing the first undergraduate course in Neuroesthetics at UCL (starting 2 October 2017)
  • Future engagement: 7 September 2017 Opening lecture: Aesthetic Experiences and their Uses at 13:00 at a conference entitled The Power of Motifs at the University of Oslo, Norway
  • Future engagement: 13 September 2017 A lecture on The Neurobiology of Beauty at 16:20 at the Monakow Lecture Hall, Clinic for Neurology, University of Zurich (part of the Scientific Symposium for the 25th anniversary of the Koetser Foundation)
  • Future engagement: 30 September - 2 October 2017 A lecture on The Experience of Mathematical Beauty at the Altius Society, Oxford
  • Future engagement: 10 October 2017 A lecture on The Neurobiology of Beauty and Its Implications at 13:00 at the Faraday Institute, Cambridge (Garden Room, Library Building, St Edmund's College, Cambridge CB3 0BN)
  • Future engagement: 23 November 2017 A lecture on The Neurobiology of Beauty and Its Implications 18:00-19:30 at the University Centre Somerset, Wellington Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 5AX
  • Future engagement: 15 February 2018 Cognition Lecture at the T S Srinivasan NIMHANS Conclave
  • Future engagement: 17 February 2018 The Ramon y Cajal Award lecture of INA, Bengaluru, India
  • Future engagement: 18 February 2018 The T S Srinivasan Oration, Chennai, India

Latest news - publications

  • Recently appeared: The Bayesian-Laplacian Brain Semir Zeki, Oliver Y. Chén bioRXiv
  • Recently appeared: Imaging the passionate stage of romantic love by dopamine dynamics by Kayo Takahashi, Kei Mizuno, Akihiro T Sasaki, Yasuhiro Wada, Masaaki Tanaka, Akira Ishii, Kanakao Tajima, Naohiro Tsuyuguchi, Kyosuke Watanabe, Semir Zeki and Yasuyoshi Watanabe is now available in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Recently appeared: A special issue of The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, edited by Semir Zeki, to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the birth of this, the first peer-reviewed journal, is now online. It is entitled "Cerebral Cartography: a vision of its future" and contains, among other articles, ones giving detailed descriptions of the American, European and Japanese brain initiative programmes.
  • Recently appeared: A massively asynchronous, parallel brain by Semir Zeki is now available in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
  • Recently appeared: Area V5 - a microcosm of the visual brain by Semir Zeki is now available in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
  • Recently appeared: Parallel processing of face and house stimuli by V1 and specialized visual areas: a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) study by Yoshihito Shigihara and Semir Zeki is now available in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Recently appeared: A neurobiological enquiry into the origins of our experience of the sublime and beautiful by Tomohiro Ishizu and Semir Zeki is now available in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Recently appeared: Neurobiology and the Humanities by Semir Zeki is now available in Neuron
  • Recently appeared: Non-binding relationship between visual features by Dragan Rangelov and Semir Zeki is now available in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Recently appeared: Parallel processing in the brain's visual form system: An fMRI study by Yoshihito Shigihara and Semir Zeki in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Recently appeared: Masking reveals parallel form systems in the visual brain by Yu Tung Lo and Semir Zeki in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Now available: The role of parietal cortex in the formation of colour and motion based concepts by Samuel W. Cheadle and Semir Zeki in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Now available: Semir Zeki's first book, A Vision of the Brain, can be downloaded here.
  • 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 and Polish (also available in Spanish, Italian and German).