Culture and Health - Mirror mirror on the wall

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Institutional Communication Service

15 November 2021

The lecture series dedicated to "Culture and Health", the course of USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, open to the public and carried out in collaboration with the City of Lugano Arts Department and IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research continues. The fifth lecture will be held on Monday, 22 November 2021, focusing on the theme "Mirror mirror on the wall. Art, beauty and empathy: the role of mirror neurons".

The lecture will be introduced and moderated by Prof. Enzo Grossi, author of the book "Cultura e salute, la partecipazione culturale come strumento per un nuovo welfare". The guest speaker will be Vittorio Gallese, Professor of Psychobiology at the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Neuroscience Unit, University of Parma, who will give an introductory key-note speech to present the lecture's theme. The presentation will provide the cue for a discussion between Michelangelo Pistoletto, artist, and Alain Kaelin, medical and scientific director of the Neurocentro della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano since 2014 and full professor at Università della Svizzera italiana.

The encounter will take place from 6 pm to 7:30 pm in the Lugano East Campus multipurpose room.

No registration is required to attend the course.

Please note: Access with Covid certificate (16 years and older), mask compulsory.

 

Lesson content

The discovery of "mirror neurones" has had repercussions rich in psychological, philosophical and social consequences. These are, in fact, neurones that function as motors of participation, which are activated by watching the movements and emotional reactions of another individual in the same brain areas that would be triggered if we ourselves were the protagonists. So whether it's a painting, a symphony or a movie, it hardly matters: when we are in front of an art form worthy of the name, our brain and body react to its communicative power, arousing mechanisms of emotional sharing with those around us. It is why sharing aesthetic experiences with other people enhances positive emotions and contributes to collective well-being.

 

Vittorio Gallese

Professor of Psychobiology at the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Neuroscience Unit, University of Parma. Neuroscientist, among his main contributions, is the discovery, together with colleagues from Parma, of mirror neurones and the elaboration of a neuro-scientific model of perception and intersubjectivity, the Embodied Simulation Theory. Over 260 international publications attest to his scientific production. He won the Grawemeyer Prize for Psychology for 2007, the Arnold Pfeffer Prize for Neuropsychoanalysis in New York in 2010, the Musatti Prize of the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis in 2014 and the Humboldt Forschung Preis from Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in 2019. https://personale.unipr.it/en/ugovdocenti/person/18110

 

Michelangelo Pistoletto

One of the leading Italian artists globally, he was among the driving forces and protagonists of the Arte Povera movement. Founder of Citta dell'arte - Fondazione Pistoletto, a centre dedicated to contemporary art in interaction with society. In 2003 the artist wrote the manifesto and designed the symbol of the Third Paradise, an artistic project based on respect for nature and urban spaces through the creative involvement of citizens. http://www.pistoletto.it/eng/home.htm

 

Alain Kaelin

He received his medical degree and a doctorate in neuroscience (PhD) from the Medical Faculty of Bern and specialised in neurology at the University Hospitals of Zurich and Bern. Today, he has been the medical and scientific director of the Neurocentro della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano since 2014 and a full professor at Università della Svizzera italiana since 2017. https://search.usi.ch/en/people/b2a25dcdee3f469e1c17960590491715/kaelin-alain

 

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Neurons and empathy - University course Cultura e Salute 2021

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